When we think of America, there are certain words of which many people think. Freedom. Democracy. Justice. Peace. For some of her citizens, these words have become elusive reminders that this nation still has her work cut out for her.
While we are playing spades and dominoes, somebody will die at the hands of the police. Tamir, Sandra, Eric, Kayla, Miriam and many others will not get to take part in the family festivities which typically accompany 4th of July celebrations. While we obsess over who’s making the potato salad, get tipsy from cold Heinekens and worry about what time we can finally eat, our civil rights are being violated.
Our freedom has become a privilege of which we have to demand to be given. A people whose ancestors built this country’s infrastructure from the bottom up including the very home which houses America’s black president and his family. Freedom circumvents the people who made American institutions like Tiffany and Co. and Bank of America profitable.
Juneteenth passed with no big fanfare. The work of our ancestors seemed to go completely ignored in times of American holiday celebrations. We hear about what makes “our” nation great but never address what it makes it not so great.
We must never forget that we come from greatness.
We must remind our children and grandchildren that we were thinkers, inventors, builders of societies even though our stories aren’t openly shared. Exchanging pleasantries with family during the holiday is wonderful but let’s not lose sight of the struggles that lie ahead for us.
Enjoy this time with your kinfolk. Play horseshoes and turn up. Watch your children’s faces light up with joy as you fire up the sparklers. It’s all good.
Remember that tomorrow is back to business. We have work to do.
Stay safe and take care.