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.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!

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

  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. 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!

  4. 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.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!