So from here on out I’ve decided to designate Fridays to recognize black history, black businesses, black honors, black love, all b l a c k everything. With July 4th passing as usual it caused a fuss. Some African Americans are celebrating, some aren’t celebrating, some are just happy to have a day off, some just want barbecue and well others have officially assigned it as Malia Obama Day. Literally every year it’s a problem, and though I personally don’t care if you go all out with your red, white and blue gear there are valid reasons why individuals choose not to celebrate. Before I start, “it doesn’t matter this is America” isn’t a response to those who choose not to. In fact, that’s not how America works so take it easy. 

The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” While that is all fine and dandy, slavery was still legal in the 13 colonies so that means a percentage of the population were still in bondage. Still being raped, tortured and forced to work for the bare minimum or nothing at all. No sign of true liberty or happiness. Just a figment or their imagination. In fact, half the individuals who signed the Declaration were either slave holders, shippers or investors. So there was no way that all men were created equal. Thomas Jefferson, the primary drafter, the had 175 black women, men and children enslaved in 1776. By 1822 the number had grown to 267. Though individuals refer to Sally Hemings as Thomas Jefferson’s mistress, let’s be real clear on what she really was. She was a 14 year old child, his property, that he raped and impregnated seven times. 

“Well 5,000 black men were instrumental in leading America to victory over Britain by 1783.” This is true. I give you that, but it was never publicized because majority of them were thrown back into slavery. If history is actually put in its proper narrative, equality never existed for all men. The Founding Fathers granted independence for a select few. Freedom was reserved for white males who owned land. His own woman wasn’t included. This freedom wasn’t for my people. According to the United States Constitution, those who were like me were only considered to be “three fifths” of a human being. So it’s safe to say people of color were not intended to be included. They were expected to continue living life as they always had. Laboring in the fields and homes, with no compensation as a slave. 

Though this all occurred many years ago, it is still a part of us. This was our oppressors independence and if you choose not to celebrate it so be it. If you choose to celebrate it, so be it. Just don’t be misguided by the false information or lack of truth in the history we are so often taught. With blood still wet on the streets, I don’t turn my nose up at anyone who chooses not to celebrate July 4th. That’s your right. We’ve grown so accustomed to ostracizing individuals for being different instead of accepting them as they are. Even if you don’t agree with their beliefs, it is still easy to coexist. Yeah we may no longer have the “No Coloreds Allowed,” signs up anymore but the system still has a long way to go regarding equal treatment. We have individuals born and raised on American soil, but still are alienated to this very day. That’s all for another day though. I type all of this to say, stand up for what you believe in. People may not like it, people may hate you for it, but to stay true to yourself is the most fulfilling. 

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”

-Martin Luther King, Jr