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Independence Day: Why African Americans Have Mixed Reactions


Happy Independence Day, Americans. On July 4, Americans come together to celebrate their independence from the British. The way that different Americans respond to this federal holiday varies. 

Because of the complicated history of the holiday and the ongoing fight for racial equality, Black People, in particular, have conflicting feelings about it. Do you want to know some of these reasons? You are welcome aboard.

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Historical Context of Independence Day

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Free photo of African American woman waving an American flag in the wind. Image by Freepik

We must look at the historical backdrop in order to comprehend the conflicted feelings that African Americans had on Independence Day. Slavery was integral to the new country’s culture during the American Revolution. 

African Americans experienced terrible treatment and were denied access to basic human rights. Black Americans at the time were aware of the hypocrisy of celebrating liberation while still in slavery.

Among many reforms, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War paved the way to abolish slavery in the country. 

African Americans’ Struggle for Civil Rights

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Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. Wikipedia

Following the Civil War, the Jim Crow era saw racial segregation and prejudice rise. Laws and societal conventions aimed at subjugating and marginalizing African People created a systemic oppressive environment for them. African Americans began to fight for equal rights at this time, which sparked the Civil Rights Movement in the middle of the 20th century.

African Americans’ basic rights were to be protected as part of the Civil Rights Movement, which sought to redress racial inequalities. When racial segregation still existed, leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X fought to eradicate it. 

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Celebrating Independence Day

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Black man holding the American flag and looking at camera with gesture ok. Image by Freepik

Many Black Americans continue to choose to celebrate Independence Day despite the historical challenges they have encountered as freedom, democracy and equality mark the foundation of their celebration. 

Also, Black Americans consider their still-unfinished road toward equality during the celebration. In order to improve voting rights and criminal justice, they advocate for change on this day.

People Read also: How to Celebrate Juneteenth: 12 Interesting Ways.

African Americans also celebrate their cultural history on July 4. They come out in their numbers to display their customs, music, and cuisine to emphasize the diversity of American society on this day. While preserving and expressing African American culture, this is also to encourage harmony and inclusivity. 

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Mixed Reactions to Independence Day

While many Black Americans celebrate Independence Day, others have conflicting feelings about it. These conflicted responses result from the deep ambivalence and nuanced feelings connected to how African Americans have historically been treated in the US.

Because of the historical injustices that their ancestors endured and the pervasive structural racism in society, some Black Americans reject the celebration of Independence Day. They doubt what freedom and equality really mean as racial inequities continue in institutions like work, education, and criminal justice.

Nevertheless, conflicted cries for advancement and change frequently accompany feelings toward Independence Day. On this day, African Americans advocate for social justice and push for political reform.

Due to its complicated history and the ongoing fight for racial equality, Independence Day causes a spectrum of emotions in Black Americans. While some people welcome advancements and accept their cultural history, others criticize historical injustices and want more advancement. 

These mixed feelings reflect continued institutional racism and the desire for an inclusive and equal society.  American Independence Day reminds Black Americans of the work that the country needs to do as it continues to strive for harmony and justice.

People also read: Everything You Need to Know About Black Music Month.

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Abdul Rashid Sani
Abdul Rashid Sani
Abdul Rashid Sani is a talented and experienced Growth and Content Manager with a passion for writing and building relationships. With a strong background in SEO content writing, paid search and social, and content marketing, he possesses a diverse set of skills that make him an asset to any team. In his free time, Abdul is a huge soccer fan and enjoys writing in his spare time. He is dedicated to continually improving his skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in his field.


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