Recognizing Racist Roots During Independence Day

By: Kayla Gould

Having been asked to think about what an anti-racist Fourth of July looks like was a question I had not thought about before working with ARCC. I had never thought about racism in general pertaining to the Fourth of July before we were challenged to think about what it would mean to us to have an anti-racist Fourth of July. However, now that I have thought about this topic one thing did come to mind. 

During Independence Day it sometimes seems as though patriotism can reveal the racist roots we have in our country. For instance, on this day I feel that many Americans are caught up in the patriotic holiday which leads many people to the belief that our country has been wonderful since July 4th of 1776. Which is unfortunately not the case. 

As we all know July 4th, 1776, was the day the US signed the Declaration of Independence from Britain. It was declared that the American people had gained Independence from British rule. That’s great and all…but what about the Black American people who were still enslaved by their other White American counterparts?

There can be two truths at the same time. Americans can use this day to of course celebrate gaining Independence from Britain while also acknowledging the racist roots that are attached to our country during 1776 and after.