Remembering the Past & Celebrating a Progressive Future
June 4, 1776, marks the day that the United States of America became free from the British crown’s rule, however, this date does not mark the day that all Americans became free.
On July 5, 1852 Frederick Douglass posed an important question to his audience, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?”
It wasn't until June 19th, 1865 when Juneteenth marked the day that slavery officially ended in the United States. So why should every American, of every color, celebrate? There are many reasons to toast to the men and women that have come before us, and will continue to pave a progressive future ahead.
On this day, we pay respect to the advocates and activists that have made freedom possible and those who continue to do so today. Looking toward our nation’s past, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, at least 5,000 black men fought for the Continental Army against the British. They did so because they believed that freedom from the British would lead to complete freedom for all Americans.
Looking toward the present and the future, we must pay respect to those leading the movement toward equality for all in America. We must pay respect to those leading the fight, including those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. This 4th of July, we must celebrate the advances made in the political and social rights for all free people in America, and remain hopeful for what the future may hold.
Lastly, we must celebrate our undying drive and spirit that has led toward the goal of achieving liberation and true freedom of all Americans. This is not a day to forget our nation’s past, but rather an opportunity to educate black youth through proper representation and empowerment. In this way, we will shape the future freedoms of our people.