But I Won’t Celebrate It like Most Americans Do
I pledge to my followers and visitors to always keep it real. I know that I am opinionated, and accept that my views may not always agree with theirs. There’s no love lost, though, with whoever does not agree with me.
Just as I have a choice in how I interpret the world, so does everyone else. I have no right to be offended by anyone who does not see life, even slightly, as I do.
Keeping it real on the topic of this post, however, is not easy. I worry that I may offend visitors to my blog, who otherwise like my posts, but may be annoyed by this one. I hope that this is not the case. I am a loving man, of everyone.
But, if this post does offend, I ask those friends to choose to like some of my opinions, while not feeling obligated to agree with others. That’s the way it should be anyhow. We have the right to choose individually, and are not forced to have a monolithic perspective, such as being totally conservative, or totally liberal. We can choose to be a bit of either, if we want to.
So, please accept my apology if this post offends. I sincerely do not mean to, but being real won the battle over saying nothing at all, or lying. I am keeping it real now.
I’m keeping this real because I have visitors to my blog from over 30 different countries. I want my international friends to at least hear an alternative perspective, in addition to the ones provided by their respective media outlets.
I know from working at CNN in the late 1990’s – early 2000, in London, and from travelling internationally, that the news varies, depending where you are in the world. I know because I compared the news stories and perspectives with American friends, in comparison to the news I received wherever I was abroad. The stories were rarely the same.
Being real on celebrating the 4th of July is especially important because of what the holiday represents. Those in other countries may not be aware that not all Americans celebrate the 4th of July in the same way.
I can’t remember many black people, in New Orleans, or otherwise who celebrated the 4th of July in a patriotic way. I don’t think I know of any who flew the American flag on their home or car. I have never celebrated the 4th of July, in an ‘all American’ way. You won’t likely find many blacks at Veterans, War, or Patriotic cemetery memorials. This day is not as historic for us.
My reason for not being celebratory on this holiday is namely because blacks, as a people, do not bask in the American dream, as do whites, as a people. This can be easily proven by researching statistics on black incarceration, education, economics, voting rights, health, and crime. Many of us feel that American may like us, but clearly does not love us, or allow us equal access to the ‘Land of Opportunity’.
Why would you want to celebrate in honor of an entity that keeps you in oppressed?
The black community has gotten creative with the 4th of July holiday, as we do historically, turning trials into blessings. Like the singing caged bird, we tend to come up with alternative perceptions to the pain that we face.
Blacks generally celebrate the 4th simply because it is not a work day, and it’s a good day to grill and chill.
But most consistently, blacks plan family reunions, church outings, and picnics on the 4th, that have nothing to do with celebrating Independence Day.
You won’t see many flags or patriotic banners at these gatherings. This is a day for family fellowship, dancing, games, and good soul food.
As I look on it today, it’s a very subtle form of protest in response to the slap in the face many may feel on the 4th. But this protest is one where blacks show love for each other, in spite of Independence Day that excludes us, and the dismal condition that American now leaves us.
In today’s divisive climate, many minorities and oppressed people, may not share in my same sentiment every day, but definitely may feel it on the 4th of July, Independence Day.
Yippee! Happy 4th of July
Today, in a writing workshop, at Denver Public Library, I was introduced to the poet Adrienne Rich, and her poem, Prospective Immigrants Please Note. The poetry instructor, from the Lighthouse Writer’s Workshop, the sponsor of the Hard Times Writer’s Workshop, read this poem to a group of about 25 writers, including me, who all use writing to overcome hard times.
The poem is beautifully written, and resonated with most of the group, likely because it is very relevant today, in the United States, but also in Europe and Israel.
Though this poem was written in 1951, it seems as though it was written for today.
Summary and Analysis of Prospective – Immigrants Please Note By Adrienne Rich – On Jul 20, 2017 – By Neha Basu – Jul 20, 2017
About Adrienne Rich
Adrienne Rich was born on May 16, 1929 in Maryland, USA. Rich’s upbringing was dominated by the intellectual ambitions her father had for her. She went to Radcliffe College and focused mainly on writing and poetry. Her first collection of poetry, A Change of World, was published in 1951 and was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize. She married Alfred Haskell Conrad in 1953, whom she left in 1970. In 1976, Rich acknowledged her lesbianism for the first time. Apart from poetry, she wrote several books of nonfiction prose. A significant amount of her work is centered around the rights women in the society. Rich received several awards, including Academy of American Poet’s Wallace Stevens Award. She passed away on March 27, 2012 at the age of eighty-two.
About Prospective Immigrants Please Note
”Prospective Immigrants Please Note” is a poem directed towards immigrants. Being Jewish, Rich probably dealt with what all immigrants have to deal with. In this poem, Rich tries to apprise potential immigrants about what they might have to face if they enter a foreign land, and what they have to gain if they choose not to.
Setting of Prospective Immigrants Please Note
The opening line sets the scene for the rest of the poem. The reader can imagine prospective immigrants, extremely perplexed and worried, trying to figure out what could be the best choice for their future. The reader can imagine these people asking themselves, ‘What happens if I stay?’ and ‘What happens if I leave?’ The poet gives them an idea of what may happen if they makes either of these decisions. Read More
Adrienne Rich, Victor Hernandez Cruz, and Michael S. Harper have changed the way poetry is heard, read, and absorbed. The program this reading was excerpted from showcases these three poets who exult in language’s ability to illuminate culture and history. Filmed at the Biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. (58 minutes)
Prospective Immigrants Please Note by Adrienne Rich – 389 views – gnl092992 – Published on Mar 21, 2011
“What to the Slave is 4th of July?”- James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’s Historic Speech – 29,086 views – Democracy Now! – Published on Jul 4, 2017
https://democracynow.org – In a Fourth of July holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.” He was addressing the Rochester Ladies Antislavery Society. This is actor James Earl Jones reading the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.” He was introduced by Zinn
I love you
I love you because
I know no other place to love
But I hate you too
Because I know you
And my mother knows about you
Because her mother’s mother passed
It down to her
You help so many
…Even the four legged
You seem so kind
…But not to my kind
Dear America you make
Me feel equal, only sometimes
But especially when I ‘shake dat ass’
Or dance in the boxing ring
…Or on the football field
But once you learn my choreography
You treat me ‘Like a sucker MC’
Did you know?
That lava flows through my veins
And, I’ve come accustomed the heat sensation
I’m fortified by the fire of the sun
…God even breaths my breaths for me
And I have turned bondage
Both the classic and the remix versions
Magnificence, that coincidentally
You hate me
Why do you keep hurting me?
Is it because you know who’s
Breathing my breaths?
…Who’s guiding my steps?
Do you figure I can take this
Because I’m strong?
Is it because I can turn pain
Trials into Triumphs,
And, create masterpieces
…The treasures that I create
Makes you happy
And keeps your conscience occupied
Happy 4th of July!
Now, let’s celebrate the 4th of July/Independence Day with old school barbecue music that most blacks in the South know very well, and will probably listen to this 4th of July.
O’Jays – Family Reunion www.getbluesinfo.com – 753,748 views – Bluespinola – etbluesinfo – Published on Jan 7, 2008
Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman – 7. “House Party” – 722,816 views – Lionsgate Unlocked – Published on May 14, 2009
TYLER PERRY’S DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMEN (2005)
Jill Scott – Family Reunion 2004 – 88,596 views – ArchieGe – Published on Jul 27, 2008
From the “Beautifully Human” album
Family Business – 543,614 views – Kanye West – Topic – Published on May 31, 2017
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group North America – Follow chance on social media . ♥
Old School R&B Party Jams – 263,109 views – Dj Fade – Published on Dec 31, 2017
Old School R&B Party and Club Jams Mixed by the World Famous DJ Fade Follow DJ Fade on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mixtapesurge…
90’S R&B PARTY MIX ~ R. Kelly, Brandy, SWV, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, BlackStreet, Usher, Total – 196,729 views – Xclusive Music – Published on May 24, 2018
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