Independence Day

The Declaration 
is a promise
not a celebration 
of a perfect nation

The Declaration 
is a commitment
not a receipt 
of past liberation
or a yearly excuse
for exhilaration 

Liberty, an idea
that reverberates
even among times
where it abates

We can do so much more
this 4th of July
While politicians keep score
our Black citizens die
In our streets take action
heed the fallen's cry!

Speak out, speak up
let us lead
a nation filled with sorrow
dreaming of tomorrow

Be not afraid to disobey
privilege and power
to scorch and scour
for a sense of freedom long delayed

A promise
one we struggle to fulfill 
"We hold these truths to be 
self-evident that all
are created equal"

We decide 
the fate of the republic
and with each tick
of the clock
we decide the character
of the nation
where we reside

The 4th of July should not be a celebration of liberty achieved, but rather a reminder of the obstacles that we have still to overcome. Ibram Kendi makes a fantastic argument in his piece “What to an American is the 4th of July” examining the the role power plays in achieving freedom. I’d also recommend re-reading Frederick Douglass’ classic speech “What to the slave is the 4th of July.” As a society we can not claim to celebrate freedom for all if there is not freedom for every citizen.

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