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As we approach the 4th of July holiday Roland Martin can’t help but think about Fredrick Douglass’ July 5 1852 speech, “what to the slave is the 4th of July.” The speech caused him to ask himself, “what to the African American is the 4th of July in 2019.”

The 4th of July “has always been different to African Americans,” Martin says. From the revolution to the civil war “Black folks were fighting for the freedom of a country that had not fully extended freedom to them,” he explains. Bottom line, “July 4th is not our day of celebration.”

Dr. Gregg Carr of Howard University, explains that “this is a continuing conversation in Black neighborhoods about ‘what is our relationship to the United States of America.” For years, we used July 5th to regonize that we’re still fighting for out freedom.


Roland Martin: ‘What To The African American Is The 4th Of July In 2019?’  was originally published on