The Fourth of July Celebration does not resonate freedom and hope with many people of color in today's environment of intense political polarization which increasingly results in racial balkanization and vicious political rhetoric. Russell Contreras (“For Some People of Color, July 4 Offers No Celebration,” AP, 7/3/17) stated that “a lot of people have lost hope.” The article goes on to say that “African-Americans, Latinos and immigrant rights advocates are questioning equality, the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in 2017.” He left out the White anarchists and Communists who have usurped the old civil rights movement of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The relationship between people of color and America reminds me of my 7th grade love affair – I was in love with her, for sure, but she tolerated me at best. Like most of us who are of people color, we refuse to compromise our integrity and surrender to a lie of convenience about our true history. Could it be that the history of this great America is not known by many?
A June 30, 2016, The Wall Street Journal (“America Drops Off History Curriculum,” by Melissa Korn) reminded the public that just 23 of the nation’s “best” universities require history majors to take at least one U. S. history course. And forget U. S. history courses that include an accurate accounting of U. S. history with a balance and robust examination of Black civilization, the original origin of higher education.
Freedom and hope, in my opinion, are two great symbols in our society represent those ideals. The Fourth of July Celebration is a reminder of the greatness and beauty of the concept of freedom. And when you look at the Statue of Liberty, you see a symbol of hope, an ancient symbol that was inspired by the Great Pyramids of Egypt in Africa. It is also the U. S. symbol that welcomed millions of self-designated “White” people from Europe, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” later in history.
But she didn’t welcome my Black/African ancestors; they came before she did, in horrible slave ships to build the roads, the bridges, America’s infrastructure – to pick the cotton and lay the foundation of the subsequent U. S. industrial and military might. African Blacks guaranteed the progress of the 12 million European immigrants made who came through freedom’s door at Ellis Island, New York.
The involuntary slavery of Africans brought America not only the kings and queens of humanity’s homeland, Alkebulan, but also the huddled masses from Africa who provided for America centuries of free labor that transformed the American colonies of imperial England from what the Europeans used to call “The Graveyard of the White Man” to the most powerful nation in the world. Indeed, this was “Africa’s Gift To America,” as historian J. A. Rogers called it. In short, the enslavement of Africans built the foundation of the world’s strongest economy, but today their descendants have become so dependent on political handouts and government re-enslavement projects and that the meaning of true equality based on economic enterprise and self-empowerment is only a distant memory for many Black Americans.
For 400 years, princes did come out of Egypt and Ethiopians, as Africans were called in the ancient world, did stretch out their hands for mercy and deliverance from the bondage of a callous holocaust. For 400 years, West Africa lost 40 million of her children, 20 million to the New World sugar plantations of the West Indies; the coffee plantations of Brazil; and the vast cotton plantations of America. For 400 years, another 60 million died; 4 died for every 1 who survived the slave coffles and forced marches.
The priceless contents of the Emmy-nominated Tony Brown’s Journal iconic 40-year national television series has been described by a leading archivist as “the most complete and thoughtful record of African-American opinion” in existence, and it earned the title of the “#1-Rated Syndicated Talk/Educational TV Series” in the nation in 1979. Subsequently, it was picked by the New York Daily News as “one of the top 10 TV series of all time that presents positive Black images” of our glorious origin.
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