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Val Brown @ValeriaBrownEdu
, 30 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Ok, America. Your July 4th/Independence Day thing is coming up. Here are a few things that I think you should re-read or read for the first time. I have included audio where possible so you don't have any excuses. 1/
To get your hearts, minds and souls in order, I think you should start with Rev. Dr. William Barber. He is an important figure in my life and has taught me what this work looks like morally and practically. I am thankful to God for him. 2/
"I say to you tonight, there are some issues that are not left versus right, liberal versus conservative, they are right versus wrong. We need to embrace our deepest moral values and push for a revival of the heart of our democracy." Rev. Dr William Barber 3/
Please check out the full remarks here. 4/
Then I have to take you to Frederick Douglass, you know "the man who is becoming known more and more" His speech, The Meaning of The Fourth of July to the Negro, is foundational. 5/
"I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary. Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which, you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common." ~Douglass 6/
The whole speech can be found here. 7/…
Next I need you to listen to and read Fannie Lou Hamer's account of trying to register to vote. We often judge other countries for the very practices of injustice that we have mastered. 8/
"Is this America, the land of the free and home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off the hooks because our lives be threatened daily because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?" Fannie Lou Hamer 9/
Listen to her testimony here. 10/

This thread wouldn't be complete if I didn't have the opportunity to re-introduce to to Martin Luther King, Jr. For the love of all the things, please read his full works. Y'all be killing me with the lightweight version of MLK. 11/
"Ever since the Founding Father of our nation dreamed this noble, America has been something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against herself." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 12/
Read the entire speech, The American Dream, here. 13/…
We really had a good thing going, y'all. I am still shocked by how far we have fallen. I was reminded of this when I decided to find something from President Barack Obama. I landed on the Audacity of Hope. 14/
"We are one people, all of us, pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America." Barack Obama. It was his "breakout" speech, and the world would never be the same. 15/
Remind yourself of what is possible here. 16/

Watching Senator Barack Obama 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Speech @CSPAN…
I believe with all of my heart that unity is what terrifies the bad guys. They aren't going to know what to do once we all start working together to dismantle white supremacy. Khirz Khan is why I carry a pocket constitution with me today. 17/
"Let me ask you [Tr*mp]: have you even read the United States constitution?" Khan.

And obviously we all know the answer to that question. Watch the story of a parent's ultimate sacrifice here. 18/
Ta-Nehisi Coates will knock you to the ground with "Letter to my Son." It will be required reading for my children. 19/
"The question is not whether Lincoln truly meant 'government of the people' but what our country has, throughout its history, taken the political term people to actually mean...That was true in 1776. It is true today." 20/
Get your read on here. 21/…
I can't think about the flag without thinking about Colin Kaepernick who is living his best life. He and Jemele Hill inspired me to throw caution to the wind and just do the damn thing. My silence wasn't going to save me or my children. 22/
Colin does a great job in his speech reminding people why we are doing what we are doing. "Love is at the root of our resistance," he said. Love for one another and love, believe it or not, for this country. 23/
Here you go. Listen to it while you are eating off our flag plates in your flag bikinis or what not. 24/
To end, I can't think of July 4th without thinking about Langston Hughes. His words so simple and so powerful in I, Too. 25/
"I, too, sing America
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong." 26/…
Anyway, enjoy your BBQ tomorrow, created by Indigenous peoples. 27/…
And your fireworks invented by Chinese people. 28/…
Try not to blow off your fingers or burn down your house. 29/
The end. 30/ If you appreciated this thread, please donate to #PoorPeoplesCampaign or the SPLC.
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