I know that many of you look forward to the 4th of July. Why not? It’s a time to hang out with family, parades, concerts, barbecue, light fireworks and vacation, but Independence Day is more than that for America.
From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence. AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE! July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83).
On Jan. 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared free all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal government. Only a few slaves were free!!
The 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in the United States, wasn’t passed until December 6th, 1865.
Think about this as you go out to spend your hard earned money for a fly holiday outfit to celebrate the independence of America in 1776, your ancestors were not free. What are you celebrating? You were still enslaved. It was illegal for you to read, travel, vote, have an opinion and exercise your independence.
On July 4, 1776 everyone in America was not free. Just as America wants to remind the world of its independence by celebrating, I just hope you celebrate your independence just as hard on Dec. 6 and hopefully it becomes a federal holiday.
For many, hundreds of dollars are spent for this summer holiday and are not circulated back into the black community. As you enjoy your holiday weekend ask yourself, “Am I more independent today than my ancestors were in 1776?”
Sadly, many are still mentally enslaved, financially enslaved and academically enslaved. Whether you and your family partake in the 4th of July festivities is solely up to you. However, while doing so please take the time to research and reflect on your history. It will only strengthen your knowledge about who your ancestors were during that time.