July 13, 2020

BLK VOICES | A New Type of July Fourth

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This week, we acknowledge the country’s Independence Day. July 4th was not a day of BBQs, fireworks and, least of all, celebration. Last week’s national holiday was a moment to truly sit with and reflect on the foundational flaws of this country. If the past three weeks have shown us nothing, the pieces below illustrate the hope of the movement and the hypocrisy of this country.


The Preamble (as of 06/10)

by Clementina Ojie


We the Blacks of the United States,

in Partnership with earnest Allies worldwide,

in order to form a more Equitable Union,

establish Unbiased Justice,

insure Acceptance of each individual by their neighbor,

provide for the common defense—

not just against International Enemies,

but against Homegrown Racists—

promote our general Welfare without Hegemony,

and secure the Blessings of Liberty and Safety

to Ourselves, our Children, and our Posterity,

do ordain and establish

the Peaceful but Fervent Protests of 2020

until a new Social Constitution is constructed

that demolishes the Monuments

of Enslavement, Bigotry and Prejudice

past and present.



New School Patriotism (as of 06/10)

by Toni’s Daughter


“Oh, say, can you see? By the dawn’s early light,

what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming?

Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,

over the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,

gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.”


“O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave

Over the land of the free and the home of the brave?”


I have never heard such beautiful hypocrisy.

The notion of tyranny, justified.

Oh, say, can you see?

Well, I can try.

I can try to look beyond

The tunnel of the american dream

To focus on the scheme at work.

The puppeteer at hand.

The glorified Man. The Myth. The Legend.

The mastermind, perfectly enshrined lie of our country.


To the “Land of the free and home of the brave”

I ask, oh say can you hear?

Can you hear our cries?

Our children’s cries.

Our women’s cries.

Our country’s cries.

Silenced cries.

The cries we kill, the lives we steal.

Can you hear our newfound apathy?


To the “Land of the free and home of the brave”

I ask, can you still feel?

Because, lately, I can’t tell.

You go to War on ‘Terror’

But not true terror

Because that battle is at home

In my brothers’ and sisters’ hearts.

The terror that threatens:

Livelihoods, mentalities, and families,

The terror that your true issue is us.


So, I refuse to pledge allegiance to a flag of hypocrisy.

To the Republic,

Which used to stand for asylum and welcome.

To an indivisible nation,

Strengthened by racism

and only reassured by

Tear gas and rubber bullets.

While knowing that our version of liberty and justice

Is only available to the few that can afford it,

Or as a dream to the many who fight towards it.


To “the land of the free and home of the brave”,

I hope you realize that

“the rockets’ red glare, [and] the bombs bursting in air”

Aren’t a glorified history, but our disgusting present.

The bombs are our own.

The violence is our doing.

And in the dawn’s early light,

We aren’t “the land of the free and home of the brave” anymore.


In the twilight’s last gleaming,

Our fear becomes our suffering.

Our loss of talent in the streets.

Our reality of disparate freedoms

And opportunities.


There will be proof through this night,

that beauty is found in tearing down walls.

It’s in our protests.

It’s in our unified voices.

When we show that these are our streets.

When we show that Black Lives Matter.


There is beauty in our unity.

There is beauty in our compassion.

And there will be beauty in our outrage.


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