About the Author

Kathryn H. Ross is the author of memoir Black Was Not A Label (2019, Pronto) and poetry chapbook Count It All Loss (2021, GoldScriptCo). She writes and edits in Southern California and loves cats and naps. Read her prose, essays, and poetry at speakthewritelanguage.com.

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  1. We are not free.⛓
    There is no freedom for ALL in this government. Until we realize our OWN SELF WORTH. Stop killing ourselves and turn that aggression towards the correct source, we will never be free.

    I don’t mean violence. I mean committed awareness and committed participation to organize, vote and not spend money (via long sustained boycotts) and not support this government. The vote means for city council persons, city and state representatives, mayors, governors, school representatives, city treasurers, attorneys, judges, police and presidents. The voting process has to be for all of the above, not just for the President. It’s the state governments that limit are freedoms as well as the federal. We must stop thinking the vote doesn’t matter or apply to us. That is what they want us to think and how they continue to limit our freedoms.

    We have to participate. The past generations did these things. They died so that we could have better. Let’s not think it’s better and time to stop. If the current events have not shown us that OUR limited freedoms are for the taking.

    We do have the power if we choose to engage and make our ancestry’s history not forgotten, but a real springboard to ignite and unite us.

    So are we free? – Only if we want to be!!

    WE must work and make it REAL. Yes with God we can do all things, but His word states, if there is a branch that is not bearing fruit, to cut it off. So let’s cut off these non bearing branches of government or persons that are not allowing ALL of God’s branches to bear equal fruit.

    Then we will be free and the bells of REAL liberty will ring.

  2. On 7/4, I, like many others, go to Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” But I learned only yesterday that the reason he gave that speech on the fifth, instead of the day before, was because when Black folks celebrated this Independence Day in Rochester, NY, they were [usually] violently attacked. Makes this post–on this day–all the more fitting. Ty for this.

  3. yes – its funny like that… how US mythology all fades with age when you are among the scorned… the timeline is similar to that of santa or the easter bunny…

    thank you for this<3

  4. Such a great piece. Captured the essence of why many of us don’t celebrate the holiday and simply enjoy the the day off. Not sure if I can agree with if I’ve felt and known those that will stand and fight for us, particularly Black women. I do feel that being free and feeling free are two different things and to be able to be free in a country so rooted in tearing us down feels like a miracle at this point.

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