The deeper you get into American history the darker it becomes both figuratively and literally.
As the inked dried on the Declaration of Independence in 1776 signed by President John Adams he imagined the country to “be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival … [and] Day of Deliverance … with Pomp and Parade” and he guessed right.
Since 1776 the federal holiday has been celebrated for centuries marking the anniversary of the Second Continental Congress unanimously approving the Declaration of Independence that announced independence from Great Britain.
It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Throughout history and in present times we see how systemic racism effects people of color.
Here we are in the year 2021 where Juneteenth was JUST made a federal holiday. TWO THOUSAND AND TWENTY ONE. Literally two weeks ago. Juneteenth has been celebrated around the country for years and because it’s now a federal holiday Americans are realizing that Juneteenth is NOT a black holiday, it’s indeed an AMERICAN holiday.
With the uproar in racial tensions with the killing of unarmed black and brown persons Black Americans have questioned the July 4th holiday asking, why should we celebrate when we weren’t free during that time?
The questions remains do we – Black Americans – stop celebrating July 4th? Did we ever really celebrate the holiday or just pull out the grill, blast the classic Frankie Beverly & Maze’s ‘Before I Let Go’ and do a little two step?
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