Liberty and Justice? For Whom?

I posted a great and moving video of Jewish immigrant Itzhak Pearlman playing the National Anthem. It’s a melancholy feeling. I was born in the USA. It’s all I’ve known and there’s NO PLACE ELSE I’d rather be. I’ve been to the continent of Africa once. Though I know my ancestors hailed from one of it’s countries, because of slavery, I don’t know which one. Not knowing family history is also a part of the struggle of an orphan. However, I DO KNOW that on July 4, 1776 if I were living, I would not have been FREE and a CITIZEN. I would have more than likely been a slave…not something to celebrate. As a woman, I wouldn’t have gotten the right to vote until 1920 after suffrage, and as African-American, it would have to be fought for and endorsed by the Civil Rights Movement and Civil Rights Legislation through 1965. In some places voting is still being challenged for people of color even now.

“Get over it. We don’t want to hear about it,” many say. I believe my RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY is to say this as a US citizen. It is a part of the FREEDOMS we’re celebrating today. We discuss the Holocaust or 9-11, because we want to make sure that history DOESN’T repeat itself. Those of us who are descendants of African slaves, who have been through eras like Jim Crow, housing Red-lining, and Mass Incarceration, and are still economically at the bottom of the totem pole living with the ramifications of hatred, must remind everyone as much as possible. Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it. That’s why African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth and Watch-night; those are the days when we received freedom in the US. A good thing to celebrate today is that we have the ability in this country to protest, to speak and to fight TOGETHER until the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness come to all and the self-evident truth that we’re all equal is manifested in reality. Thanks to EVERY Patriotic friend who is determined to fight for the rights of all citizens. By Melissa Sadell Bradley

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