Not Lost on Us…

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?

I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all
other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.

-Frederick Douglass

I used to love celebrating the 4th of July when I was a kid.

You know, ice cream, apple pie, friends, family, freedom and liberty, right?

Well, I’m sad to report that my joy for the holiday changed once I went to school and learned the irony surrounding it…

What with slavery and all.

Here’s the odd part, nobody I talked to really wanted to acknowledge this ginormous paradox.

Trust me, no teacher, not even the Black ones, pointed this enigma out to me; it was something I had to figure out on my own.

I remember asking my mom why we were celebrating freedom and independence for America when our ancestors were slaves at the time.

Mama just cut her eyes at me and said, “HUSH your mouth!”

Clearly, I wasn’t telling her anything new…

In fact, I was pretty much stating the obvious.

But, I guess she didn’t want to deal with the heaviness that inevitably encroaches on Black folks whenever they attempt to reconcile the holiday with the history.

So, in my family, we simply opted not to go there.

Don’t get me wrong, since everybody was off work, we went with “the flow” and attended reunions, cook-outs and the like– sans the flag waving gratitude of independence.

In short, we worked it, but it wasn’t lost on us.

And, based on the quote I cited above, it most certainly was NOT lost on our dear Frederick Douglass, who gave a fiery speech to the nation back in 1852.

The premise of this magnificent oration?

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

Chile, Frederick read America for filth!

IN 1852 no less!

Honestly, I can’t help wondering what he would think about our current state of affairs and the super slow “progress” we’ve made.

Especially considering the fact that he still held out hope for our country all those years ago.

All in all, Mr. Douglass believed that The Divine was and is in control.

So do I.


As you think about that, please enjoy a reading (excerpts) from this important work-performed by me, LadyG, and my dear cousin and fellow blogger, Ron Brown.

LadyG loves YOU!

12 thoughts on “Not Lost on Us…

  1. Good post, Lady! It doesn’t even feel like Fourth of July today. People are dying! Our president just sweeps it under the rug. He acts like everything is OK and it isn’t. I’m so disappointed in what this country has become and symbolizes these days. He needs to GO in November.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. And yet, my family immigrated here from Italy in the 60s and 70s. What complicity do my ancestors have in the slavery of the US then? Shall I go back in time to when the Carthaginians destroyed my ancestral homeland? Who gets to pick the opportune time in history to make their point? Clearly , slavery, racism hatred et al is intolerable. But when do we work to make the future better for all, instead of looking at the faults of the past?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, he was speaking to America in 1852. So….That legacy continues; unfortunately. My blog, my experiences.
      Your ancestors and their plight is very important. So yes, you can go back and tell us about the destruction of your homeland—-why not?
      As they say, those who don’t study the past are doomed to repeat it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not trying to invalidate your experiences. I’ve read you for a long time and find your posts well thought out. I just think, to your closing sentence on your response, that most don’t have a good grasp of human civilization and are inclined to look at events in a vacuum.

        Liked by 1 person

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