GREENSBORO, N.C. — Yesterday was a Fourth of July like no other.
With many activities canceled across the Triad, people chose to celebrate the country’s birthday in small groups and family gatherings.
Some see Independence Day as a time to reflect on what it means to be an American and live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but not everyone agrees.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m proud to be an American,” Dominica Deloatch said.
For years, Deloatch has celebrated the Fourth of July with family and friends in downtown Greensboro.
“Celebrating with other friends and family members, walking around, having fun, letting the kids play,” Deloatch recalled.
But not this year. Deloatch, who is a second grade teacher, is using the holiday to teach her 4-year-old son Derrick about the storefront murals that have lined Elm Street since June.
“Celebrating the fourth before was kind of out of ignorance, so now I want to make sure he knows why we celebrate Juneteenth as a youngster because we do that, and why we don’t celebrate July 4th anymore,” Deloatch said.
Like Deloatch, Brandy Crawford questions the state of the nation but feels without Independence Day, Americans would not be where they are today.
“I think it’s going to take a long time for us to be united. A lot of people are taking the stance well we’re Black, and we weren’t free on July the 4th, so we’re not going to celebrate it,” Crawford said. “I don’t really look at it that way. I try and look at it as if it wasn’t for July 4th, if the declaration had never been signed, Juneteenth never would have happened in the first place,” Crawford said.
“Hopefully, everything gets resolved with the race issues because I don’t believe there should be a race issue,” Marcy Aho said.
Aho has pride in her country and believes Americans have the power to change society.
“It always feels good to be an American. No matter what’s going on because we can handle anything,” Aho concluded.