Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be by spending time with good brothers, friends, & family at cookouts, going to parades, and watching fireworks. Regardless of how we spend the day, it is more important to reflect on the significance of this day, when we declared Independence and stood up for the Dignity & Freedom of Man. This is a day for us to relax, but it’s also a day to reflect on those brave Americans that helped shape our nation…it’s a day for us to reflect on how we can best uphold the same ideals of life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness that drove the gentlemen to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

On July 5,1852, the great orator and abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered an electrifying speech where he posed what was possibly the most significant question of his time; “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” He received a thunderous round of applause. I posed a similar question, “Why do African Americans celebrate Independence Day anyway?” The issue of whether African Americans should celebrate the Fourth of July is one of those eternal questions that is often asked this time of year but never receives a valid answer. Why do African Americans feel obligated to dress up in red, white and blue top hats and sing the Star-Spangled Banner to commemorate a day when our ancestors were picking tobacco in the hot Carolina sun? This may come as a shock for some, but African Americans weren’t free in 1776. Matter of fact, it was not until four score and five years later that President Abe Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Just a thought I wanted to share.

Independence Day is, most of all, an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of our citizenship. The Declaration of Independence makes it clear. To be American, is about much more than the place we call home. To be an Omega Man, it’s a deeply felt commitment to higher principles: liberty, equality, opportunity, and self-governance. I am honored and humbled to serve with you all. Your service allows us to uphold the values we cherish to ensure all Americans enjoy the freedoms envisioned by all.

The Third District Council wishes you all a happy and safe Fourth of July. Remember your traditions, let us remind ourselves that we must cherish and protect our freedom. And let us thank and remember those who have sacrificed to defend our liberty and our rights as human beings—our veterans and service members! A special thanks to our first responders and all medical personnel as well as we fight and deal with COVID-19.

That essence has permeated our land and inspired generations of Americans to explore, discover, and redefine the outer reaches of our infinite potential. It has become the foundation of the Omega Dream!

In Friendship,

Brother Conrado B. Morgan
District Representative
Third District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. /