Elizabeth Leiba

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

Can I interrupt your 4th of July celebration for a few minutes? 🎆 Are you up for a quick history lesson? 📚

☑ July 4, 1776: America 🇺🇸 becomes independent from England 🇬🇧.

☑ July 4, 1776: Slaves are still being raped, beaten, killed and picking that cotton.

"Independence Day" for slaves didn't come for another 89 years, when the last slaves were "freed" June, 19 1865 ➡ Juneteenth.

On July 5, 1852 former slave, orator, writer and abolitionist Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an Independence Day celebration.

"What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" he asked.

"I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us."

"Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us."

"The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me."

"The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me."

"This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn..."

More than 150 years later, we're still fighting many of the same racial inequities and social injustices he challenged.

So sorry, if I don't feel much like celebrating. 🎇 Not until the disparities he spoke on are dismantled for good.