Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Things to Do:
Due to COVID-19 there most likely will not, and should not, be any of the usual Independence Day celebrations. No neighborhood barbeque or hot dog filled day at the beach. No dense gatherings to watch fireworks explode and sprinkle the skies. However, the careful limits of social distancing don’t have to stop you from having fun as there is always fun to be had online.
1. Inspired by the riveting 1852 speech Frederick Douglass gave titled, “What To The Slave Is Your Fourth of July” this oration via Zoom will feature a reading of the speech by the knowledgeable Jonathan Jones, celebrated professor, and author Gretchin Sorin as a guest speaker and finally, recent high school graduate and musician Toussaint Santicola Jones will perform. MORE INFO HERE.
2. Run by Democrats Abroad, this Zoom party will function much like speed dating. You will go from room to room, each room containing four or five other people, and get to know them then after fifteen minutes the room will automatically change. Meet new people or catch up with old friends! MORE INFO HERE.
3. If you’re looking for an exciting activity that most resembles what you have done on July 4th last year or any year before that, this might interest you. Although the tickets come at a price, it is completely worth it. For $20 you can not only join in on a global dance party run by a renown public speaker, featuring music from the last three decades, but you can also help support the fight against police brutality as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Communities United Against Police Brutality. Sounds great all around! MORE INFO HERE
4. In that same vein, this exciting Zoom festival is not only free but runs across the course of two days! Featuring music from artists such as Blvck Jesus, Burnout, Odd Cub, and Pony Boii among many others, the festival will run from the afternoon of July 4th to 10 pm on July 5th with a break in between to catch up on sleep or anything else.
5. Though it might not be as enchanting on a screen, this event will let you watch fireworks from Disney’s World Resort and save on back-breaking fees and the general discomfort of having to crunch together in a large crowd of strollers and families. The streamed show will start at 9:10 pm Eastern on the Disney Parks Facebook page which you can find HERE
Things to Have:
This summer is already different, in nearly every way, from the ones of the last few years - which will also account for this fourth of July. However, that does not mean you can’t celebrate in smaller scaled, safe ways. Here are some items you need for next week!
1. Fireworks are frightening for dogs and children, plus they are dangerous and illegal in many places. Instead, let’s focus on some equally fun and interesting alternatives. You can use Poppers, the equally messy cousin of Easter eggs. They come in an array of colors and size and you still get the satisfaction of a miniature explosion with a guarantee of safety! Although most adults are too ashamed to admit it, there is wholesome, entertaining fun to be had with bubbles, especially these colored bubbles from Crayola.
2. If you need a new outfit to wear during one of the many Zoom parties you’ll be attending next week, look no further than Spoiled Boutique, a zesty, colorful, and kindly priced black-owned clothing store. The store features lemon yellow trumpet dresses, lounge sets, and crop tops among many other unique and gorgeous pieces to choose from.
3. There is something to be said about the intimate rush of using a Polaroid camera. Perhaps it is the immediacy of the pleasure we get as the photograph instantly develops, typically accompanied by mild mechanical wheezing. Or perhaps it is the nostalgia we feel, even if we did not particularly grow up with Polaroid cameras as our choice of camera while holding the physical, seemingly aged photo in our hands. Maybe it feels like a break from the constant placid iPhone pictures we surround ourselves with across our social media platforms. You can get all kinds of Polaroid cameras, from baby pink and blue colored ones from the 90s to the more modern Fuji film cameras here!
4. In his most famous speech, Frederick Douglass asked a white audience, “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.” This holiday is not a cause for celebration for most African Americans. It is a reminder of the hurt that stains their family trees. It has been said that knowledge is power. Books contain that power. You can have well-priced books sent directly to your doorstep by shopping at this black-owned online book store, Black Pearl Books. They ship all across the nation. I recommend Magical Negro by the award-winning poet, Morgan Parker.