What does the 4th of July mean to the Negro? A Reading

>> Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July. A celebration of the Declaration of Independence of the colonies of what became known as the United States of America.

Every year in my hometown of Alameda, one of the largest 4th of July parades in the country takes place. The last time I participated in the parade was while working at the Alameda Boys and Girls Club. I didn't yet understand the role of non-governmental organizations in the capitalist economy, otherwise, I would have recognized how the plight of young people from my community was being pimped. The executive director was driving a pink cadillac main street while we walked the streets. Looks like pimping to me.

So when I reflect on the "Fourth", considering the enslavement of African people and the genocide of the indigenous people of this Land, I am reminded of a great abolitionist and his speech, "What does the Fourth of July Mean to the Negro?

In 1852, abolitionist, speaker and journalist Frederick Douglass delivered the speech. The speech speaks to the contraction of the celebration of American Independence that was simultaneous with the enslavement of Africans.

This video features me portraying Frederick Douglass at the College of Alameda's Chattaqua for "Constitution Day." The live jazz played in the background was performed by College of Alameda Professor Herbert Mims, Jr.'s Jazz Ensemble.

Video by Joe Sullivan of Peralta TV's P-Span program. More info: http://pspanperalta.blogspot.com



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