On this day, we celebrate the birth of our nation by spending time with Good Brothers, Friends, & Family at cookouts, going to parades, and watching fireworks. It’s also important to reflect on the significance of this day, when we declared Independence and stood up for the dignity and 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 our founding fathers to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.Greetings Brothers of the Third District,

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 Black people 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 Black folks 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 Black folks weren’t free in 1776. Matter of fact, it wasn’t until four score and five years later that Abe Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation. Just a thought I wanted to share.

As much as we each enjoy the traditions, 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 our founding fathers envisioned.

The District Council wishes you all a happy and safe Fourth of July. Enjoy your celebrations and be safe, but also remember the reason we celebrate. 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. 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,
Kevin Brown
29th Third District Representative