Playlist: Fuck Independence Day, Celebrate Black Women Instead

It’s the 4th of July y’all, which means all around the country people are congregating to binge drink and see how many burgers and hot dogs their stomachs can hold while lighting things on fire in honor of the signing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago. This is the one that states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This quote and the document it hails from are supposedly cornerstones of U.S. history and values, and the basis of the American dream which is why I, a black woman who knows far too well that equality in the U.S. is a myth, am calling bullshit and refuse to celebrate this oppressive pile of injustice we call a country. I will not celebrate the systematically racist government full of laws and policies that lead to the often overlooked deaths of black women and people of color at the hands of those meant to protect us. I will not celebrate a country in which 13 of the 15 trans women of color murdered this year have been black women. I will not celebrate a country currently run by fascists and white supremacists. I will not eat your bland potato salad. I will not celebrate a country that does not celebrate me.

If you’re not feeling the idea of spending your day off celebrating a country that prides itself on being built on the very backs of the black women and people of color it now murders, imprisons and never intended to protect, I got you. I invite you instead to spend it celebrating the strength and beauty of black women by listening to this dope playlist Alaina and I put together featuring the talents of amazing black women throughout history.

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Reneice Charles

Reneice Charles is a just another queer, liberal, woman of color using the Internet to escape from reality and failing miserably. She received her MSW from New York University and is an Entrepreneur and Vocalist living in Los Angeles. She spends her spare time wishing she didn't have to use her spare time convincing people that everyone deserves the same basic human rights.

Reneice has written 104 articles for us.


  1. “I will not celebrate a country that does not celebrate me.”


    My family and I have never been big on July 4th for similar reasons. There’s an undeniable sour feeling to celebrating your country’s 200+ years of freedom when your people haven’t been truly free and treated equally until a few decades ago. It’s like a hollow holiday.

    Anyways, this year I don’t even have the day off from work, so your playlist is going to my energy booster! Thanks

    • You’re welcome! And yeah, what’s to celebrate when you’re still actively sing oppresses? Anyway, hope it makes your work day go by quickly!

  2. I understand. Its sad this country’s turning sour. This year i am confused as to what i want to do. I always go watch the fireworks… Enjoy the music and relax. Still thinking if I am going to be doing that later cause its much more than all that. Are we just in a bad moment of time orvis there something to celebrate in all of this that i cant serm to focus on due to all this hate …. I dont know. A friend of mine wants to get out and relax . do the routine thing every year as always…. Is there something worth celebrating in the mix of all this..i am still thinking…

  3. Love this article and that playlist. That Lizzo song is one of my favorites even though I have no real hair to toss or nails to check.

    • So glad you love it! And yes, that song is everything. Even with short queer nails and in my case an Afro puff that doesn’t flip either hahaha.

  4. Awesome list! I actually am sick today but after listening to this playlist I at least moved out of bed to the couch! I’m feeling Good As He’ll!

    • That just made me so happy!! Thank you for listening and sharing, glad it was helpful to you.

      • It made me so happy too! I even sent the playlist to my mom and she LOVED all of your picks!

  5. Awesome list! I actually am sick today but after listening to this playlist I at least moved out of bed to the couch! I’m feeling Good As Hell

  6. YES TO ALL OF THIS finally some good to drown out the hell that is fireworks bless up

  7. Yes! This playlist is amazing! Perfect thing to listen to while I wait for the radio broadcast of the portland blues fest to start up for the day. Music is the only thing I care to celebrate today!

  8. Yes! Keep your macaroni salad. I’m good with celebrating this colonized patriarchal nationalist bullshit. Instead, let me get a mangonada for the matriarchy! ?

  9. Yesyesyes!

    Was especially feeling this on Saturday (“Canada Day”, 150 years BS…over 150 years of colonization/exploitation more like).
    Saw a poster with “150 years of being nice” and felt furious! Adding insult to injury it was in the area where so many of our Native sisters have gone missing/been exploited/live daily with the horrifying effects of calculated physical and cultural genocide.

    So thank you for bringing something far more important to the table : let’s celebrate black women, especially trans* black women, and a big big shout out of love to native women too.

  10. I don’t have Spotify so I made a version of this in Google Play Music and I’m loving it. Thank you. I want to do a playlist of Indigenous music for Survival Day here in Australia.

  11. Ooh yes great idea, great playlist! I’m listening to The Electric Lady right now, and I think the Autostraddle community would appreciate the track “Our Favorite Fugitive.”

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