For Black Folks Who Still Need Healing When The Fireworks Aren’t Enough

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By Danielle Stevens | Co-Founder of This Bridge Called Our Health

They tell us celebrate independence today;
that every July 4th we celebrate America, these “United” States.
and we are supposed to forget everything that has happened, 
we are supposed to forget we have never been free.

Are we to pretend today?
Pretend that the mirage of “unity” has not be foreclosed to us for lifetimes?
Pretend that red white and blue didn’t wave us into bondage?
Pretend that 240 years later we aren’t still escaping trenches?
Pretend that we weren’t legally quarantined for decades?
Pretend that we were never told we were composed of only 60% of a human being
Pretend we aren’t still in recovery from centuries of fractured humanity?
pretend we don’t cringe a little bit every time we see the flag?

They tell us celebrate independence today;
that every July 4th we celebrate America, these “United” States.
and we are supposed to forget everything that has happened, 
we are supposed to forget we have never been free.

Fireworks will burst today. breathtaking electric beauty, a stunning display.
Hypnotic theatrics quelling ancestral tears that too, have burst:
from centuries of torture, hunger, bondage;
sweat tears and bruised lips telling stories of generations of misery.
Broken backs building broken systems we are told to call home.
excruciating pain.
diasporic pain.


[This Bridge Called Our Health is a two-person, volunteer-run, healing justice platform for women & girls of color. We need all the support we can get! Click here to support our work.]

If you bear witness to fireworks today, remember you are breathtaking, too.
That you need not quell a single truth.
That the truth of your divinity is too, ready to be burst.
Remember that you are the mosaic of a rich history that has birthed miracles, that has spun the sacred gold that you can call life today.
Remember that we create memoir; blueprints for survival.
That with every single. sacred. breath we take, we embody magic.
Remember that our laughter conjures joy that radiates for lightyears,
to mama moon and far beyond.
Our history carries yesterday’s pain,
Ancient pain that also feels new
but history can still create something free
No matter how elusive, sticky, messy; 
Can still be real. can still be here. can still be now.

Let the fireworks remind you that you are not the fleeting powder of guns, but the sacred dust of noble stars, a conduit to the conjured dreams of our ancestors; where kaleidoscopic possibilities breathe life to old things they forgot can never be killed.


And remember, ancestors are always watching, nurturing, protecting.
Honor them today and make them proud in your divinity.

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Danielle Stevens is a California-born (and raised) educator, writer, dreamer, and community healer. She is the Co-Founder of This Bridge Called Our Health, a community forum for women & femmes of color of all genders to explore, develop, and imagine the infinite possibilities of healing from and imagining a world free of trauma. She currently resides just outside of DC, and is currently engaging in a much needed renewal from 10 years of activism & community organizing. She now spends her time falling in love with her true self, her life, and every single thing in it.

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