Today we celebrate the Independence of America. Like most countries around the world and bad relationships America’s history is complicated.
The 4th of July to me always meant celebration even if I did’t understand the history of what I was celebrating. Huge barbecues with my family, a day at Whalom Amusement Park, and fireworks over Boston Harbor. Like most holidays it’s true meaning is lost on the the many people waving their red, white and blue flag.
I try to figure out my feelings on what is to be an American celebrating Independence and being African American makes it complicated. I don’t know any Black person who is not proud of being American despite our history here. It is not our Independence Day after all since our ancestors were still slaves and yearning and fighting for the day they would be free and yet we still love this space, defend this land, and celebrate this holiday.
America is now living in the day of Donald Trump and as a Black American I wonder how far back he wants to take the nation when he screams Let’s Make America Great Again. He’s only speaking to one demographic and no matter how his supporters try to run away from it, no matter how much the media tries to sugarcoat it Trump is only fighting for the rights of white men in America. In their minds America has always been theirs and the rest of us were hired help or slaves only here with their permissions and when we ask for the same rights and liberties this day celebrates we are asking to much.
America celebrates its birthday, its Independence from England today. It has been an exemplary country with so many contributions to the world and yet it has not been kind to the Black America and yet we still proudly call it home. We still fight for what those Minutemen fought for centuries ago…Liberty. Liberty and justice for all.