Should African-Americans Celebrate July 4th?
African-Americans were slaves during the signing of The Declaration of Independence. So, should people of African descent in this country celebrate the Fourth of July?
While many Americans, no matter their racial or ethnic background, see July 4th as a patriotic time of fireworks and barbecues, some in the African-American community do not believe in celebrating the holiday.
This is because the Fourth of July commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence—on July 4, 1776—and many people of African descent were slaves during that time.
On one Facebook page of The Black Report, a conversation has continued for more than a year on the question of black Americans celebrating the 4th.
"As long as you claim to be an american citizen, african or otherwise you should celebrate the nation's independence," a man named Eardley wrote. "Also not all black people in our country now are decendents of american slaves."
A woman named India had a different view. She said she does not celebrate July 4th or Thanksgiving because of the wars between Native Americans and Europeans which eventually resulted in the creation of the United State of America.
"...what does July 4th fourth mean to you?" she wrote. "It means nothing to me, I'll celebrate Juneteenth along with many other African Americans here and around the world."
The debate over this holiday doesn't end here. Popular WAOK-1380 AM Radio personality Derrick Boazman discussed the topic and read passages from Frederick Douglass' "What, to the American Slave, is Your 4th of July?" (See www.juneteenth.us to read the entire speech and learn more about The National Juneteenth Network).
So, once again, we have another July 4th. Should African-Americans celebrate this holiday? What do you think? Share your views today on Cascade Patch.