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  • Writer's pictureChristie

"What to the Oppressed is the Fourth of July?"

Today is the day, the United States of America declared its independence from British in 1776. While monumental, do not engage in unconscious patriotism. This was still 89 years before the end of slavery (re-structured in the 13th amendment), 13 years following the Proclamation of 1763 (defied promptly by the colonists to lead westward expansion), and 114 years before Wounded Knee (the climax of the U.S’s repression of the Native Americans leading to the massacre of over 150 Lakota Native Americans.)

This Fourth of July feels different this year. A series of truths have been unveiled. Those who would have been oblivious to the inner workings of our nation have now been forced to sit with the feelings they have elicited. Some have chosen to unpack. Some have chosen to be performative. Others have continued to ignore. Frederick Douglass' spoke of sentiments 76 years following the the first Independence Day. His speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" eriely mirrors today's call to action for systematic reform.

NPR released five of Douglass' descendants reading and responding to excerpts of his famous speech. To love your country is not to accept what tradition that potentially harms the rights of its citizens. You can love your country and want its government to do better.

Here are 4 ways to consciously celebrate the Fourth of July as told by @embracingequity 1. Acknowledge Native Lands 2. Community Activism & Advocacy 3. Make your dollars count 4. Raise your awareness

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