Why to not celebrate the 4th of July

An explanation of why America wasn't really free when we signed the Declaration of Independence.

By Laila S. from Project Citizen in Connecticut

 July 4th, 1776. This was the day when America was no longer under British control. We celebrate this day as the day America was free, but America would not truly be free until June 19th, 1865, when slaves were emancipated. My American Creed is that we should not celebrate July 4th, or at least not celebrate it as the day that America was free.

In 1776 it is estimated that 200,000 African Americans were still in slavery. The treatment of these people violated several basic human rights. From being sold away from their families, working tireless hours with little to no pay, and the injuries or death several would receive if they did not meet their masters wishes was horrendous, to say the least.

As you can see, the slaves in our country were far from free, so it is unjust to exclude our black fellow citizens from the celebration of freedom. This is why I purpose celebrating Juneteenth, the day where slaves were set free and when all the people in America could truly call themselves free. This would not be solely an African American holiday, this would be a day where we would all celebrate the freedom of those who were still slaves.

Should the 4th of July still be celebrated, even if we don’t call it the day where America was free? Google says that we celebrate as the day America became an independent nation, where we signed the declaration of independence. But that declaration excluded slaves, in fact, in Article 1, Section II paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, it states that African Americans were three-fifths human beings. There is no way to celebrate the 4th of July without declaring that all humans were free. I think that we should not celebrate this holiday, what we are celebrating is the independence of our nation and the signing the declaration of independence, and as I have reviewed, this is not inclusive or respectful to the African American citizens in the USA.

Project Citizen

Project Citizen '19

Project Citizen is a youth writing lab that is offered as part of the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University. The mission of Project Citizen is to empower young writers to engage in issues of social and political importance through a variety of genres in order to both find their voice and to become fully realized citizens in our democracy. Project Citizen brings together students from school districts and towns in Fairfield county that represent a variety of economic, racial, ethnic, and religious demographic groups in an effort to break down the "zip code apartheid" that stands in the way of true collaborative learning.

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