‘My ancestors were not liberated.’ - Dozens march in Confronting July 4th rally in Brooklyn

On a day many celebrate America's independence, dozens of New Yorkers confronted the meaning of Independence Day, saying citizens need to redefine the holiday going forwar

News 12 Staff

Jul 4, 2020, 9:39 PM

Updated 1,424 days ago

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On a day many celebrate America's independence, dozens of New Yorkers confronted the meaning of Independence Day, saying citizens need to redefine the holiday going forward.
A group gathered Saturday for a rally in honor of Black and indigenous activists called "Confronting July 4th."
The group marched from Fort Greene Park to Prospect Park. A stage was set up for speeches, music and other performances.
Many say their goal is not to cancel Independence Day celebrations, but in order to make it an honorable holiday, it must be acknowledged how America was founded.
"America was founded on the backs of African enslaved people and it was founded by stealing indigenous land and murdering indigenous people," says Chanelle Elaine, a lead organizer of the rally.
Many people's signs were in accordance with the overall theme, reading, “My ancestors were not liberated on July 4, 1776.”
Their mission statement, which was read at the beginning of the route, says in part, “There would be no America without stolen land and stolen people."
Mickey Escarcega, a woman of indigenous Mexican background, says she was happy to see everyone come together.
"It's pretty amazing the fact that they have land acknowledgement, the fact that they're addressing indigenous issues alongside Black lives issues and that I see white allies and Latino allies," says Escarcega.
Elaine says everyone needs to continue to come together and listen.
"If we can all start in love, we can then branch out and understand and be able to hear each other. If we're not hearing each other, then we can't have any change," she says.
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