On July 4, 2007, America will celebrate her 231st anniversary of independence. That white-run America held black slaves in bondage while stridently championing freedom for themselves, showed forth the blatant hypocrisy of this country and the principles on which it was founded.

Even today, in 2007, racial inequalities still persist in this country, the “home of the brave, the land of the free”.


Black Americans overwhelmingly are the most segregated of all races and ethnic groups in America.

Residential segregation is something that many people do not give serious thought. For it is in the segregation of neighborhoods where educational, economic and social disparity is seen.

Keep blacks out of the predominently white neighborhoods (ergo, excellent schools, best jobs, best networking/social contacts) and you have in effect curtailed black people obtaining a better life.

Since elementary schools are the starting point (”Give me the child at 7, and I will give you the woman”), it is crucial that ANY American child regardless of race or ethnicity get a decent headstart on the road to a full-filling life.

But, as long as there is residential segregation, there will be stunted lives. Yes, many black people live in predominently black neighborhoods. Some because for them it is less stressful than living in a neighborhood where you are not wanted, epscially if you are the only black family in that neighborhood. To many white people, a lone black family in the predominantly white neighborhood (1%) is considered a “multi-racial” neighborhood; on the other hand, to many black people 25% black families in a predominently white neighborhood of 100 white families is considered a multi-racial neighborhood. Obviously blacks and whites see the “multi-racial neighborhood concept” in extremely differing images. But, many black people live in their segregated neighborhoods because of circumstances. Because of inadequate education, poor jobs skills, lack of clout at the city, county and state political levels, they face many disparate forms of inequality in their lives. They live with lack of decent grocery stores that have available fresh vegetables/produce. They live in neighborhoods that have no businesses for employment. They live in neighborhoods where they have to travel long distances just to get from their neighborhood to buy the basic necessities for them and their children. They try to get something resembling an education from separate, but, still unequal public school educations.

Crumbling inner city infrastructures where the most basic of amenities are lacking, where sewage and water requirements are almost at third world level, where the need for doctors and other allied medical personnel are few and far between, where neighborhoods suffer from the highest incidents of crime, many urban communities have been cut off from receiving municipal allocations of government funding that should be directed into their neighborhoods, but, many do not see any of this funding because so many cities do not use the funds soon enough, or do not allocate much needed funds to the urban neighborhoods to pave streets, repair sewage/wastewater problems, demolish abandoned buildings, provide neighborhood community help outreach programs, provide better and improved mass transit that truly benefits the people who need and use the service the most.

As long as America sees fit to shove off to the side a major portion of her population, she will weaken herself.


No where is racial segregation more pronounced than in so many “Christian” churches than on  a Sunday at high noon. For a country that professes to be so Christian and filled with brotherly love of their fellow human beings,  giving lip service to following Jesus’s (God’s) commands, it is sorely lacking in showing true Christian brotherly love towards those who have a darker skin than them. Where more white Christians attend churches that are overwhelmingly sparse on non-white congregants. Where is the love of their fellow woman and man in their churches? Where is the outreach in reaching across the racial divide of exclusion in working with their fellow Christians on issues that affect all US citizens? Where are the “white churches” that seek out solidarity with the “black churches” on the plague of teen drug usage? Teen pregnancy? Teen hopelessness and despair? Gang violence in inner city neighborhoods? The poor? The homeless? The gutting of affirmative action programs for minorities?


Many inner city/urban neighborhoods have no forms of employment because there are no major sources of businesses in their neighborhoods where they can obtain employment. Many companies do not locate factories, department stores, or any type of business for the denizens living in most major urban neighborhoods. As a result of that, most people living in urban neighborhoods have to leave their environment to find employment.


Substandard, separate and unequal schools still proliferate the US public school system. Inner city schools lack highly trained teachers, have  many school boards that do not care for the children’s education, concentrating more on school district state tests instead of teaching children educations that will carry them through life:  teachings that instill integrity, knowledge, comprehension and retaining of that knowledge, the love of learning, and especially, the love of reading. Reading opens up  a whole new world for the child. The child who learns at an early age to love reading is a child who will never lose her or his desire for knowledge. Critical thinking is not taught in many public schools. Children are not given the skills to think for themselves and take on the global world they will grow up and live in. Undermining America’s children with inadequate educations hobbles them, and does not prepare them to live in a high-tech, fast-moving world. Saddling children with useless educations that do not teach children how to be resourceful, how to live in the world with various cultures and ethnicities who will have a differing of opinion with them on issues that will affect us all:  global warming, fuel/energy sources depletion, the condition of women and children in the world, the state of crime punishment in this country. America is not preparing her children for a world that will show them no mercy if those children are not prepared for it.


America has most of all done the most cruelest atrocities to her black citizens and has never done any atonement for her acts of barbarity. There are things that white America has done to black people for over 400 years for which we black people have NEVER received justice, except only very recently, in a few Civil Rights cases that have been re-opened, and that has been stingily and grudgingly given. But, never justice for the following crimes against black humanity:

The horror of slavery.

The disenfranchisement of the Black Codes.

The hounding from town to  town by the Black Laws of the Old Northwest.

The humiliation and degradation of segregation.

The scourge of suffering from atrocities committed if caught out after dark in Sundown Towns.

Pogroms, restrictive covenants, ethnic cleansing on an appallingly, massively sickening scale.

Am I angry because of this?


Do I get angry because there are black men, women and children who will never receive justice in this country? Black citizens whose lives were taken from them during Jim Crow segregation; black people whose murderers, pedophiles and rapists STILL walk the Earth free, living and breathing, while the people whose lives they have destroyed lay cold in the Earth?


Do I feel that the black people who lived and suffered under Jim Crow segregation, black people like my parents, my uncles, my aunts, have a right to receive justice while they are still alive? (My Mother still lives, but my Father is deceased.)


“Normal” behaviour of white people towards black people for over 400 years was rape, burn, torture, enslave, lynch, and destroy.

Any behaviour that constituted “kind and humane” from white people was rare in the world of black people.

To us, racist acts of barbarism was “normal” because to white people it was normal:

In other words, the face that was shown to black people was a face of where the white man made his worst his best:

Destroy black citizens in every way you can, but, never, ever, go out of your way to treat them the way God would want you to. (Except in the rare cases when SOME white people would say no to this brutish way of mistreating their fellow human beings, and would go against the racist practices that occurred around them.)

Even in 2007 America, white America’s behaviour towards black people is still “normal”:

-racial profiling
-followed around the store even when you have money to buy the merchandise
-stopped because you are driving through a white neighborhood
-stopped because you are driving through a white town
-shot to death (whether a black woman, or black man) while in your car suffering from a seizure
-residential segregation where blacks and whites still live Jim Crow lives
-railing against black students entering predominantly white colleges to get a higher education
-told that you are “less than” when you know that you are MORE than qualified and capable of doing the job
-having people insult you by commenting, “Wow, you are so articulate and smart for a black person”, as if there are no intelligent black people living in this world
-being mistreated, disrespected by the police; assumed to be a criminal by the police; assumed to be a prostitute by white men no matter how modestly dressed you are, whether entering a hotel to get a room while traveling, or waiting in the hotel lobby for your friends to come down from their room; rights violated on a consistent basis; having the police treat you more violently because you are black than the way they would treat a white person; if a black woman suffers from the crime of rape, and she goes to file charges, having your credibility discounted by the police because black women are looked upon as “un-rapeable”, a belief that is a holdover from the vicious rapes that white men committed against black women during slavery, Reconstruction and segregation all the way up to the 1970s; having the courts show disregard for a black victim, and more regard for a white victim in the sentencing of the perpetrators; having more of a chance to face police brutality and harrassment more than a white person
-having the school district show callous disregard towards your neighborhood in still having to struggle with substandard, unequal education; lacking decent buildings which are overcrowded, have outdated equipment—if they have any equipment at all—, not enough textbooks for the students, lack library resources, are technologically behind, pay the teaching and adminstrative staff less. These “savage inequalities” that the school district allows and condones (even though black parents pay taxes just like their white counterparts), leads to lower reading acheivement, limited computer skills, and lower levels of learning overall.
-black people still encounter a higher cost due to residential segregation: we are more likely to pay more for housing in a limited market, more likely to have lower quality housing, and more likely to live in areas where employment is difficult to find; black people still are discriminated against in their efforts to rent or buy housing, therefore, we are more likely to be quoted higher rents, offered worser living conditions, or steered to specific neighborhoods.

In housing, race still matters.

Blackface parties, minstrel shows, degrading student videos on the internet showing the most vile racist hatred towards their fellow black students at predominantly white universities, all because black students want the same thing that white students want: a better education, a better career, a better life.

Having the news media constantly bombard the broadcasts with “drugs were probably involved” whenever a black person is shot dead, no matter the black person’s gender, occupation, OR age; having the news media use words to describe black defendants as “brutal”, “savage”, “violent” but, white defendants are “he was someone we never thought would do this”; black people are more likely to be shown in police restraints than whites.

Being more likely to be portrayed as threats to social order, when there is no evidence that black people have sold sensitive classifed documents to foreign governments; there is no evidence of black people selling jobs overseas; there is no evidence of black people taking much needed industries (i.e., steel, automotive, textile mills, manufacturing plants, etc.) out of the cities and relocating them overseas.

And, contrary to what many people may want to believe, black people are STILL more likely to suffer from hate crimes than ANY other race or ethnic group in America, no matter how many lies people try to tell themselves.

White America’s long history of barbarism, brutality, and heinous atrocities against her black citizens are uncountable.

And for so long, white America considered treating her black citizen’s lives as so much cheapness to be callously disregarded and destroyed, as “normal.”

For 400 years this was considered sane in white America.

For 400 years this was considered business as usual in white America.

For 400 years this was considered “normal” in white America’s sadistic mistreatment of her black citizens.

And in the new millenium, in the year 2007, it is still business as usual.

It is still normal. That black, no matter how educated, no matter how law-abiding, no matter how patriotic, is still considered as less than.

This normal behaviour that white America has shown towards black America is deeply ingrained into America.


Much of what white America has shown black America was, and is still considered “normal”.

Black America has known more perversion, sadism, viciousness, cruelties, and monstrous abominations from white America than they have known respect, humane treatment and equal regard.

There are some white people in America who are sick of America’s racist hypocrisy towards her black citizens.

But, as it still stands in 2007 America, there are still some white people who insist on holding on to the “normal” outlook towards their fellow black citizens.

There are still some white people who insist on only wanting to see black people as less than.

As long as America continues her normal approach and mistreatment of her black citizens as she is still doing, she will continue to still portray that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

And that is what America means to me.  A land of profuse hypocrisies, a land of dreams deferred, dreams crushed, dreams obliterated.

The Fourth of July will be celebrated tomorrow.

What is the Fourth of July to me?

It is still not a holiday I can truly celebrate without severe reservation. It is still not a holiday I embrace with enthusiasm. It is still a holiday that at times can ring hollow to me. When America stills marginalizes her black citizens into third class citizenship status, and still refuses to practice complete inclusion with a group of citizens who loved her more than she has loved them back, I still cannot truly sing my “Country ’tis of thee, Sweet land of Liberty” without  remembering that for me and my people true liberty, equality and egalitarianism is still out of reach for so many black Americans.

This is my country no matter what many in it may think otherwise.

It is still mine, and I will celebrate all the joys and triumphs and remember all the sorrows and travails that my people have overcome, and are still overcoming, as I go about my daily routine tomorrow. I will celebrate for all the black women and men who came before me who suffered and survived so that I would have a life more abundantly than they could ever have imagined.

I will celebrate their victory over a brutal system that sought to destroy them both in body, mind and spirit.

I will celebrate by continuing to be a living testament to them by never forgetting their memory, never disgracing and discarding their history, never being anything less than the very best I can be.

I owe them that.

A life more than well-lived. A life of which THEY would be proud. That all they suffered through was not in vain.

Tomorrow I celebrate the love, the hope, the fortitude, the strength, the resolve of the survivors of slavery and segregation.

Without them, without their hanging on by that shining thread of hope, I would not be here to sing praises to them.


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8 responses to “WHAT IS THE 4TH OF JULY TO ME?

  1. stephaniegirl

    This captured all the feelings I have toward the so-called 4th. Well said, Ann! Well said!

    Stephanie B.

  2. Pingback: Segregation and America « The Blog and the Bullet

  3. Dale Mc.

    Yeap I concurr. You are expressing the sentiments that most of us are aware of but unable to articulate. You go gurl!

  4. Ann

    Stephanie and Dale Mc.

    Thanks so much to you both for your comments.

  5. stephaniegirl

    You’re welcome. I could have said it but couldn’t find the right words to say it. But America is very hypocritical when it comes to race and class. We want to pretend that there’s no race problem, that we’re all middle class. That has never been the case in all of American history. Euros appropriate and kill American Indians, then drove the rest of the population into reservations or assimilation through forced sex and marriage of Amer. Indian women by white men. Blacks were held in slavery, then segregation, and now de facto segregation. Black women were subjected, then and now, to rapes, murder, forced labor. Black men were murdered, lynched, and castrated. Denied employment opportunities for most of its history. Who’s America fooling? She’s not fooling us.


  6. Like your other readers, Ann, I am impressed at how you brought all of this together in one powerful post.

    As a white person who feels a strong connection to Black history and culture, I want to add to your reasons for celebration: of Black history as not just a history of resistance to oppression. The Black Freedom Movement has taught me tremendously about the true meaning of those great American ideals (however poorly realized to date) of democracy and freedom.

    I celebrate the America that has been shaped and defined by its Black intellectuals, writers, artists, dancers and musicians—in their truth telling about their nation and their history and in their ideas and art forms that give American culture its unique character. Think New Orleans, think Harlem, think Detroit, the the MS Delta, think Chicago.

    Think all of the families and communities whose surging will to prosper and overcome and whose struggles and oppression and irreparable losses have been hotbeds for beautiful music, poems, dances, political tracts, social movements.

    This and much more America.

  7. Ann


    Thanks for stopping by.

    Your comment is most welcomed.

    Yes, black people have been more than just a force against oppression; we are more than just the moral voice of America. We are also the joy, the elan, the raison d’etre that is America.

    For what would America be without Black America?

    It would be a very poor country indeed.

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