3 Conscious Ways Brands Should be Celebrating Fourth of July this Year
By: Madison Walkes
Amid America’s current landscape of sweeping racial injustice, toppling monuments, the rise of Karen Culture and the rampant unrest over mask mandates, many Americans are left wondering: does anyone feel proud to be American right now? Given the state of our country, many Americans are questioning even celebrating the Fourth of July this year. So, where does this leave brands?
The past few months have birthed new responsibilities for brands to use their platforms to speak up for racial equality, and rightfully so. America is facing the generation’s largest civil rights movement and brands have a duty to ensure their diverse audiences hear from them. But, what about Fourth of July? What should we expect to see from brands given the reality that celebrating the holiday is a source of patriotic pride for some, while a painful reminder of inequality for others? To that end, let’s dive into 3 respectful ways brands should be commemorating the holiday.
Acknowledging that Black History is American History and all Americans weren’t free in 1776
Instead of a basic “Happy Fourth of July!” post on social media, we challenge brands to take a different approach and aim to be more inclusive in their commemoration of American History. A major part of why most BIPOC Americans don’t feel included in the holiday is because the overall narrative has erased their voices and stories. By highlighting the technological, historical, and cultural stories of BIPOC Americans, brands honor a more authentic look at the country. This could include highlighting pivotal historic Black figures like Frederick Douglass who summed up the Black American’s relationship with the holiday in one short question: “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
Taking action against the systemic inequities that negate “independence” for BIPOC Americans
Arguably, there is nothing more patriotic than protest. If they aren’t already doing it, this is a time for brands to bring attention to systemic inequities targeting BIPOC Americans and launching initiatives to help undo injustice across the nation.
Commemorating vs. celebrating the holiday
Just as we honor Memorial Day, brands should opt for commemorating Fourth of July versus celebrating the holiday. Like Black lives, semantics matter. For many Americans, this isn’t a time to display unapologetic patriotism. Brands should acknowledge the holiday and its great implications for American progress, while simultaneously recognizing the realities beneath the surface that not ALL Americans were free.