Liberty and justice for all?

Today is a day of conflict for me. We celebrate the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate our founding fathers’ decision to demand freedom from oppressive rule. Yet we ignore the fact that not everyone was granted that freedom. Of course, slaves would eventually count as only 3/5 of a person. And the right to freedom, voting, and citizenship wouldn’t come for another hundred+ years and the enforcement of these rights is still being debated in the courts today so… What exactly is my relationship to Independence Day other than cookouts and fireworks?

I’m an American. I cannot negate that nor do I wish to. But I am also black and female and a host of other identifiers. I’ll be wearing this shirt today. It’s red white and blue as is the flag that represents our nation. But the last line of our pledge is my reminder to myself and the world that we have work to do. We cannot stop until the Stars and Stripes truly represent liberty and justice for ALL.

Frederick Douglass on the 4th of July
Yours in activism,

Karli Janay

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