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“This Fourth Of July Is Yours, Not Mine,” Four Rarely Known Facts About July 4th

—blogged by @lovelikejhoney

The Fourth of July is recognized as the day the United States of America became its own country, breaking free of Great Britain’s rule. But how much do we really know about Independence Day and the state of the nation during that time? We have gathered rarely known facts about the Fourth of July to help you answer that question.

#1 : The actual day America became independent of Britain is July 2, 1776, however, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t finalized until July 4th. The initial draft included a passage regarding the condemning of slavery, depicting it as “a cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty.” Several of the founding fathers could not reach an agreement on the slavery passage and debated for two whole days before deciding to fully withdraw the section. 

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Although the Declaration of Independence reads:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

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#2 : Slavery was legal in all 13 colonies at the time. Which means 20 percent of the nation’s population were held in forced oppression without life, liberty or happiness.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

#3 : Of the 56 white male congressmen who signed the Declaration, 27 were slave owners and/or slave investors.

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#4 : Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, enslaved 175 Black women, men, and children in 1776 (the same year the “nation” declared freedom).

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Fast forward to 242 years later, Americans today commonly celebrate July 4th with family-friend gatherings, fireworks and parades, and feasting on traditional foods like hot dogs, chicken and barbecue. 

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Even as a Black community, we praise an independence that was not extended to us. And as we cope with the reality of what today means, I encourage you to remember the words of the late and great abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.”

About MsJennyb

Jen is a Writer and Content Curator for Baller Alert, who writes under the alias “MsJennyb.” In this role, Jen develops and contributes relevant special-themed content to attract readers. Before joining the Entertainment Industry via Baller Alert, Jen spent one year as a Freelance Writer and two years as a Human Resources assistant in a corporate office. Jen has a degree in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University with a concentration in Africana Studies. To contact Jen please email [email protected]

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