Why July 4th is celebrated in the US
July 4th, one of the most awaited holidays for Americans. The day the country marks its independence, and the day that the skies light up in fireworks, streets are painted red, white and blue.
The holiday is a celebration of history and the 'American dream'. But what does July 4 mean now - a world of prevailing racism, violence and deeply rooted discrimination?
The Fourth of July commemorates the day the United States gained independence from Great Britain in 1776.
From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence
with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
What the Fourth of July means now
“The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me.
This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.
So said Frederick Douglass to a gathering of white abolitionists in New York on July 5, 1852.
Seventy-six years and one day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Douglass found little to celebrate.
Slavery existed mercilessly in the country, while the Fugitive Slave Law meant that Blacks in the North faced the terrifying possibility of being returned to bondage in the South.