Friday, July 3, 2009

July 4th Alternatives

Near Peebles, OH (Southwest Ohio).

Every year I think of the hypocrisies of US Independence Day when it applies to African-Americans and First Nation Peoples (Native Americans). I know, I know, people moan and groan about the history, but ‘tis true, our ancestors were enslaved, and many indigenous nations had either been massacred or displaced as former British subjects celebrated freedom.

Photo: African Burial Memorial New York City

I always think of doing something different on that day, be it big or small. Personally, fireworks stopped thrilling me a long time ago, and in this economy, there are cities that are asking to be funded. I know the traditional barbecue, is a perfect family outing, but why don’t you throw a traditional dish in there that reminds you where you came from and where we came from. Why don’t we be the change that we need, instead of relying on it being dictated to us.

Here are just some of my ideas.

1. Morning prayers that recognize your ancestral lineage.
2. Visiting a Native American site.
3. Visiting a family member’s site.
4. Play some of your folks favorite songs, such as gospel, blues, African, soul.
5. Fasting half of the day.
6. Invite all your folk to your house, even the ones you can’t stand to have a day of fun and love.
7. Replace pork ribs with a healthier alternative.
8. Eat all organic foods for the barbecue.
9. Get all your ingredients from a local farmer’s market.
10. Donate to a worthy cause.
11. Read the history of the American Indian Movement
12. Brush up on the Manifesto for the Independence of Native Americans

13. Write a letter to universities and NFL teams that still use Native American images as their mascots and demand that they stop the dehumanizing practice.
14. Strike a pleasant conversation with someone you do not know.
15. Dance like there is no tomorrow.
16. Attend the Maafa Celebration in New Orleans hosted by the Ashe Cultural Center in Armstrong Park's Congo Square in New Orleans.

1 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

ayankha said...

Okay so, I did #1, #14, #15, worked in the garden, and I just ate some chicken and waffles. I did the last 2 specifically in celebration of my ancestors that were born and died in America. Though the lineage does not stop there, I thought this to be the perfect time to pay homage.

Thanks for the alternatives! I think they are brillinat. I will do additional ones throughout the month of July.