The Reason Why I Do Not Celebrate The Fourth of July

 
 

I am at a loss to understand why as Black Americans, we celebrate the birth of this nation. We look forward to cooking out of doors, firing fireworks and guns in acknowledgement of the event. I find it difficult to celebrate birth of a nation whose history is one of kidnap, enslavement, rape nad murder of black people. There is an element of insanity in that concept.

Native Americans view the birth of America as the beginning of their extirpation (total destruction). As Black people, we should iew American in that very same fashion, historically American white soldiers massacred hundreds of native American men, women, and children at Wounded Knee. Confederate soldiers massacred hundreds of Black union soldiers who were captured as prisoners during the Civil War.

Hundreds of native American men, women and children were forced to move from Florida to a reservation in Oklahoma by the U. S. Military on a forced march. Many of them died in that move, very few survived the Trail of Tears.

My most personal reason for not celebrating the birth of America occurred on February 8, 1968 On that date, I was a junior at South Carolina State located in Orangeburg, S.C. I was a professional biology major with a minor in chemistry and a 3.25 GPA. We gathered at an on campus barnfire in an attempt to rally around an attempt to integrate white only businesses in Orangeburg. Eight highway patrolmen responded to that demonstration, There was a crowd of three hundred of s at the rally.. The patrolmen fired shotguns loaded with buckshots in the crowd killing three and wounding over forty students.

I am quite sure that most readers of the Tribune newspaper have heard of the Kent State massacre, but few have heard of the Orangeburg massacre which occurred a year before Kent State. During the Kent State event, only one student was killed, The news media covered that story for one entire week nationally, The Orangeburg massacre only received one night of national coverage, The patrolmen who fired into that group of us indicated that we fired gunshots at them. We were unarmed and no weapons were ever found among us. The patrolmen were charged, but were found not guilty and released.

Savannahian John W. Stroman led the demonstration in an effort to integrate white only businesses. He was struck in the back of the head by Orangeburg policemen and severely beaten, He was then blackballed from employment in the state of South Carolina. John is one of the strongest people I know in terms of character, He lives in Orangeburg to this day.

Doctor Oscar P. Butler was employed by the college as the Dean of Students. He was the only employee of the college who was actively involved in our welfare by keeping the authorities from us and bailing us out of jail. He was my Kappa brother, my mentor and my friend.

As Black people, we should first and foremost consider our actions and ho our actions are viewed by other groups of people. Other races who have been oppressed by this nation would not dare to celebrate its birth. A nation whose birth involves their demise. Native Americans do not. Jews do not celebrate the birth of Nazi Germany. What insanity causes us as Black Americans to celebrate the birth of America? In my opinion it is illogical to do so. Our liberation is June 19th.

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