A woman standing in from of a wall of red stripes

July 4th,
Independence day,
America’s great defeat over Britain.

A celebratory day of
Firework shows,
Swimming and
Red, white and blue. 

A historical celebration of freedom,
Commemorating 1776,
But not where not all Americans found freedom.

Two other dates mark important milestones for freedom:
1820 and 1865
August marking 100 years of voting freedom for women.
And Juneteenth,
A day I never learned about in school.
Juneteenth marks the liberation of slaves in Texas,
Who lawfully had freedom two years prior. 

A country that gained its freedom in 1776
While holding slaves in bondage for 87 years
After declaring independence?

A country that celebrates its freedom,
On a day when only white male citizens gained theirs?

Americans cherish their freedom
While in textbooks only teaching its children
About certain moments of freedom.
Freedoms many people in this country still long for. 

July 4, 2020,
In the middle of a global pandemic
And worldwide political unrest,
It’s time to honor the dignity of all Americans
And fight for the freedom of all,
Not just the ones gained on July 4, 1776.

Image via Frank Terry, Actress Jessica Szohr, Darling Issue 14

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