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This is an email from Up to Speed, a newsletter by Momentum.

Whose independence are we celebrating on July 4th?

Welcome to the Momentum Monthly, a newsletter that gathers the latest news on the fight against anti-Black racism. Today, we have a letter from editor Jada Gomez on how she isn’t celebrating July 4th in the traditional sense, and some stories that are top of mind for our team.

As a kid growing up in New York City, July 4th meant fireworks — either over the East River or in the parking lot of Shea Stadium — and handheld American flags. My mother would dress me in some variation of stars and stripes, and singing songs like Lee Greenwood’s “Proud To Be An American” felt right.

But for the past few years, it hasn’t felt right at all. With children subjected to life in cages, I simply can’t scroll through Instagram and like photos of barbecues and apple pies. And although the conversations around anti-Black racism are just starting to take hold, we can’t ignore the countless Black Americans who have been murdered for countless generations prior.

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Pandemic or not, the nation will celebrate its independence this weekend. I’ll continue to honor the elements of my identity that don’t quite fit the “All-American” standard. I’ll celebrate with the immigrants who remain protected by DACA. And I’ll remember my Bahamian great-grandmother and Honduran grandfather, who both traveled through Ellis Island with the hopes of experiencing the American Dream in New York City.

Although a traditional Fourth may not seem quite right for so many of us, here are some stories that remind us that we have many journeys still to honor — and much change still to realize.

-Jada Gomez, Momentum co-editor

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Jada Gomez

Jada Gomez

Senior Platform Editor at Medium. Girl with the long last name from the Empire State. NYU Alum. Runner. Puppy Mommy. Smiler.