To Celebrate or Not? July 4th
As I sit here and enjoy the 4th of July festivities there is one question that lingers in my mind. Is this a holiday for people of color to celebrate?
Quick History Lesson
On July 4, 1776 the United States commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This single piece of paper represented the United States freedom from Great Britain. The separation legally occurred during the American Revolution on July 2, 1776. Have you ever wondered what fireworks represent on July 4th? Fireworks are associated with the 13 guns that were fired in 1777, 1 year after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Ready for the twist
Where were people of color during the signing of the Declaration of Independence? The answer is: they were still enslaved, so while the Declaration of Independence was good for the United Stated. Everyone in the United States did not directly reap the benefits for nearly a century later. People of color did not get to feel freedom until January 1, 1863 when Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The signing the Emancipation Proclamation initially freed slaves in 10 states. The other 4 states followed on December 6, 1865.
So I ask
Is this a holiday for people of color to celebrate? During the signing of the Declaration of Independence people of color were not free, so what exactly will people of color be celebrating on July 4th? Do you think people of color should celebrate their independence (from slavery) on January 1st for some and others on December 6th?