Freedom Fortnight

I finally watched ‘Hamilton’! It was worth the hype but left me feeling sad. Two things from this musical stood out the most. First, everyone was flying by the seat of their pants during the American revolution. What rules did exist, were broken and re-written often. Second, the fight against white supremacy was an intricate part of our origin. Even the founding fathers, and the people surrounding them, were divided over the issue of slavery/racism. Confronting it is an essential part of our story.

This year, I celebrated Juneteenth for the first time. As I learned about the unspoken parts of American history, I really struggled with the idea of celebrating July Fourth. But then I thought of all the people who have fought to make the phrase, “all men created equal”, true. “Give me liberty, or give me death”. This powerful mantra has never left the American psyche.

But there is ugliness in every country’s history. And it’s time US citizens took ownership of that. In discussions over the last couple of weeks, someone I know had a great idea. I would like to share it. The time between Juneteenth and July Fourth could be referred to as “Freedom Fortnight”. I would suggest it be a time of solidarity and lament; to acknowledge and mourn the times people have not received the justice and equality they should’ve.

While we might celebrate Juneteenth and July Fourth with BBQs, fireworks, and boating or camping, Freedom Fortnight would be a time of silence and reflection. On July 5th (when Frederick Douglas gave his speech in 1852) "we the people" could personally and collectively, recommit to pursuing liberty and justice for all. We have a long history of ignoring tyranny inside our borders. It’s going to take a long history of addressing it, to make it right. 

-This post was originally from the author's personal blog-

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