I refused to celebrate the 4th of July!

Dear Gwendolyn:

My great-grandmother is 102 years old, my grandmother is 75, and my mother is 40. This is my problem: My mother is angry with me because I didn’t celebrate the 4th of July at the big gathering at grandma’s house. I tried to tell my mother that the 4th of July is not for Black people. It is not our holiday and I only celebrate Black holidays. Gwendolyn, am I wrong?—Sam


Dear Sam:

I don’t want to tell you that you are wrong because not celebrating the 4th of July is your belief. However, I will tell you that you are “silly.” To only celebrate Black holidays means you don’t do much celebrating. The celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the celebration of Juneteenth, the celebration of Kwanzaa, and any other celebration deemed as being for Blacks, is limited.

Let me tell you this: When you are blessed to have a living great-grandmother, a living grandmother, and a living mother, that is a celebration in itself. You didn’t give me your age but I know you are young because young people have a different way of thinking. And sometimes that thinking does not change until you live long enough to see death revisited many times as it takes away family members, co-workers, schoolmates and friends. Then and only then you will understand how important it is to treat each day as a holiday and each night as a celebration.

(Do you have a son or grandson age 10-17? Help him to choose college not jail. Order “DECISIONS In The Life Of A Growing Male Youth.” Send $14.95 + $4 S/H to: G. L. Baines, P. O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066. Got a problem, e-mail her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com or write to her at address above (to receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope.)


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