In two days, some of you will wave sparklers and flags like wands, others of you may head to the local park for a thunderous fireworks display, and a few of you may even don an outfit with the red, white and blue. The Fourth of July wells many people with patriotism. But, for some African Americans, patriotism doesn't come so easily. A history of slavery, segregation and racism overshadows and contradicts a sense of patriotism -- loyalty felt to America. Black poet Langston Hughes captured this contradiction in his poetry and writings. The poem "Let American be America Again" is a lyrical criticism of the notion of freedom and the realities of inequality. "There's never been equality for me.. Nor freedom in this 'homeland of the free,'" he writes. And in "I, Too, Sing America" he reminds us that black America is American. Today, we talk about black love of country and why some African Americans struggle with it. If you're black, do you struggle with patriotism?
July 2, 2008