Should Blacks Celebrate Independence Day?

Writing at the Huffington Post, Maryland pastor William H. Lamar IV examines the complicated history of blacks and the Fourth of July. He does not celebrate the holiday because our ancestors were still enslaved when the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

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Independence Day celebration (Jordan Masnfield/Getty Images)

Arguing that he is "one generation removed from the ugliness of legal oppression in America," Maryland pastor William H. Lamar IV writes at the Huffington Post that African Americans should not celebrate the Fourth of July, which was adopted when our ancestors were still enslaved.

The government and the corporate media celebrate as patriots those who are uncritically supportive of America's imperial exploits. That is not my heritage. I am Richard Allen's son, the first black man to write a political pamphlet challenging America's white supremacy. And we must keep writing. I am Ida B. Wells Barnett's son, the powerful black woman who refused to let America lynch black bodies without sounding the alarm of outrage. And we must continue to speak up for those crushed by American violence masquerading as law and order. I am Bayard Rustin's son, the black man who strategically organized people and resources to challenge the status quo and to demand justice from America. I am William H. Lamar III and Eartha A. Lamar's son. I am only one generation removed from the ugliness of legal oppression in America. How can I celebrate liberty with bondage -- economic bondage, educational bondage, political bondage, health care bondage, and religious bondage -- all around me? On July 4, 2013, I will reflect on America as it was and as it is. And I will affirm my allegiance to my ancestors whose fight lives on in me.

Read William H. Lamar IV's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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