I have come to the conclusion that White folks don’t care if Black folks attend their Fourth of July parades, hot dog eating contests or barbecues. What White folks do care about is having all Americans pay homage to the lie that since July 4, 1776, America has been God’s gift to the world and the land of milk and honey. But because I’m Black and respect my ancestors, I won’t play White supremacy revisionist history games. What I will do, because I love screwing with racist White folks, especially the ones who have incorporated American flag-waving and U-S-A chanting into their White supremacist arsenal, is ask, with as much sincerity as I can possibly muster, “When did Black folks’ freedom clock start?”
Juneteenth, June 19, 1865? The end of enslavement did not mark the beginning of freedom. In actuality, it started a century of Jim Crow and legal segregation. Voting Rights Act, August 6, 1965? Last month, Black voters in Georgia and Kentucky waited in line several hours because of closed voting precincts and early voting time cuts, so I don’t think they would agree with starting the clock based on the Voting Rights Act. The swearing-in of Barack Hussein Obama on Jan. 20, 2009? This date is no good either. Because White folks believed we were free for eight years, they responded on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
Even though I was not able to find a suitable start date for the Black freedom clock, we will be celebrating on July Fourth. We won’t be celebrating America; we will be celebrating our family and friends with cookouts, cards and the Commodores playing loudly in backyards across America. Because we’re Black, we have learned to love ourselves in a nation that has never loved us.