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What Independence Day Means to Me As a Black Woman Living With Racial Trauma

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“I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us.” — Frederick Douglass,  “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” July 5, 1852 Independence Day felt heavy and conflicted this year.

As the daughter and stepdaughter of Vietnam War veterans and granddaughter of World War II veterans, I’ve always felt a sense of civic responsibility to my country.

I fly the American flag on my front porch, because I, too, am America. The blood of free Africans, enslaved Black Americans, and their white enslavers runs freely through my veins and I’ve struggled with the intersectionality of these truths.

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