Is The Fourth of July Really A Holiday To Celebrate?
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Is The 4th of July Really A Holiday To Celebrate?

If the 4th of July celebrates the Independence of America, then why were my ancestors still enslaved?

Is The 4th of July Really A Holiday To Celebrate?

Today marks the 4th of July, a day where Americans all over the nation celebrate the supposed independence of our "great" country. However, the 4th does not mark the independence of all Americans. To be specific, Black Americans in particular, and I wanted to point out my perspective on what the fourth means to the people who worked to build the foundations of the country we all cherish so much today.

On July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was officially made, and it liberated white America from the rule of Great Britain. However, with this new declaration, can American's really say that we were any better than the people we worked so hard to be free of?

Black America was still enslaved in 1776, in fact, we were considered to be only a fraction of a freed man. Black people were 3/5 of that of a white person in America according to the beloved constitution, for the purposes of taxation and representation in Congress. How free is that?

Black people got a little closer to be full American's in 1863 when the emancipation proclamation was created by our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. The crazy part is even then people gave Lincoln so much crap for doing what a true America would do, and his fight for equality for all. The confederate states hated Lincoln, who in fact was a Republican president at the time, this is much different than modern time and if you really think about it quite ironic seeing that the parties have completely flipped in today's time.

After the civil war broke loose and the Union won, black people finally saw the abolition of slavery on December 18, 1865, through the 13th amendment, two years post the emancipation proclamation being created. However, even after the 13th amendment was drafted black people were still not given the right to citizenship and equal protection under the law until the 14th amendment was passed on July 28, 1868, and finally the right to vote in the 15th amendment drafted on the 26th of February, 1869.

Now I did not write this article to give you all a history lesson, but I wrote it to give those of you foreign to this subject a new perspective on what it feels like to be Black in America. I understand that you all will never truly be able to understand what it means to be Black in America, but I still think it's important to remind people that America has not always been free for everyone. Even though we are free today, Blacks still have to endure racism, and unwarranted violence from the police and certain groups, but even with that I know that my life is way better than those who came before me and all I can be is thankful for that fact alone.

I am not one to talk bad about our country, and I am grateful to have been born here versus elsewhere, however, it is important to not forget where we came from, and the way that our history came to be. We have made progress with our 44th president, Barack Obama setting the catalyst for our people to see ourselves in positions of power, however, our battle is not nearly done. We still have to fight for our right to exist and be treated and respected as a free American, and I just hope for change and the generations of the future to continue to become more and more open-minded and to say the least, woke.

Whether you are a Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander, if you are an American you are supposedly given the rights that fall under the constitution, the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I just look to this holiday humbled and thankful, and as a reminder of all that, my ancestors endured so that I could live the life that I get to live today.

With that being said, I hope you all enjoy your fourth, but always remember there are two sides to every story, and even if you think your life is in shambles, I promise you, it could be worse.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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