As we celebrate the 4th of July, the National Holiday of Independence for Americans, we also realize that this holiday evokes a conflict of emotions for black and brown folk representing marginalized communities. To be a proud American does not mean that certain folk are able to easily dismiss the pain, the anger, and the disillusionment that this holiday reminds us of. The 4th of July in all its glory also reminds many that this day was not meant for them initially. It reminds us that some had to fight for independence within a Nation that fought for independence but not for them because they were not considered citizens or humans. In this episode of the Gift of Love Broadcast, this double-consciousness from the perspective of a black American is explored, and an excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ 1853 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” is read. My hope is that the discussion of two America’s, and the contrasting lens through which this social experiment is viewed are understood and validated as we continue to work towards the realization of these ideals for Americans and the rest of the World.
Frederick Douglass’ speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”