7.03.2015

EVENT ALERT: HAPPY 4TH OF JULY - AND BEYOND!

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:


I'm just coming off of what can only be called a psychological sabbatical, which means I haven't really posted in a couple of weeks.  June was so  oversubscribed with events - good and bad - that it left little time for breathing or any real clear thinking.  I needed time to process everything before jumping back into the fray.   

I actually have a couple of topics that I've left in "draft mode" until I could do them justice - "Fathers are Assets," and "The impact of Odunde on Black Philadelphians" are the current working titles.  Add to that the horror of the massacre of innocent people in a church, six crazy hecklers threatening Joel Osteen; the subprime court's continued assault on the sanctity of the family while continuing to trample on the rights of Black people to vote; then, if it wasn't enough, the massacre in Tunisia!  What the sam hill is going on? 

So you can see why I needed a "Brain-Break" to fully grasp it all. 

I confess that in the meantime I watched old Black and White movies from the thirties - especially starring Loretta Young; and every one of the Amos and Andy TV shows; Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghon, Sylvester the Cat & Tweety Bird - just to make sure that my sense of humor and romance had not been destroyed by these latest heinous, inhumane attacks on our physicality, spirituality, mentality and psyches.  

And now here we are, two days away from the Fourth of July; from the celebrated birth of this nation in which we live; and of course, once again the debates as to whether or not Black people should celebrate it, since we were definitely not included in the original in any way, shape, form or fashion.  In many minds, we were barely included in it now. 

But none of the contemporary debates about whether or not we were included in the original
Declaration of Independence have persuaded me to not celebrate it.  It would be like saying that since the Emancipation Proclamation did not exist at the time that we were first brought to this continent as slaves, we shouldn't honor it.  Things change. People change; time moves forward.  What happened back then during the time of ignorance, and slave monsters, should not be the deciding factor for whether or not we celebrate being Americans.


At the risk of sounding like a "my country, right or wrong" zealot, I will say that I do celebrate Independence Day.  I will also say that I'm glad and proud to be an American - despite some of the major chinks in our armor.  I have, at least not at this point, no interest or desire to live elsewhere.  Visit, maybe, but not live.  

There comes a point in the life of us all where we have to make some major decisions about who we are and what our stakes are in the lives we currently live, and in our future.  I have visited many wonderful first world (third world by euro/american standards) countries.  I've stayed extensively and had the opportunity to learn their cultures, ways and laws - 6 months in Haiti, 3 months each in Guadaloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. John, St. Kitts; four months in the US Virgin Island - St. Thomas and Christiansted; and some short stays in Aruba - two weeks; Puerto Rico, Venezuela (1 month); Guatemala, etc.  Met some wonderful people and participated in their life styles to the extent possible.  

And when I returned home, and re-adjusted to the noise, the blaring lights, and the speed that is New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and DC, I found that it suited me and my nature to a T.  Now, that's me speaking for me. There are other friends who have expatriated, who love where they've moved to, and only come back here for visits.  However, these very same individuals still celebrate the 4th of July - as do I.

Not just because of what happened in 1776 - but the fact that there are some principles that they stand for that I like, on a personal basis - not just those written by the several Founding Fathers of the day - that are important to me:  Life, liberty, the pursuit and attainment of happiness, health, wealth, abundance, peace, love, blessings, and so much more, are what I've come to  that today mean so much to me.   And, while we're not "post racial" we have Barack Obama, the greatest president ever, who has made a world of difference in this country, despite the throwbacks to other eras trying to block him. 

I tend not to rehash the argument about celebration of the 4th of July over and over, because, AS BLACK PEOPLE, we have so much more to do than to continue to rehash the past and the intention of the founding fathers - such as the issue of the letter vs. the spirit of a Constitution which later emanated from that Declaration, and all the other ancillary documents that now govern this country.

While we debate whether or not we should celebrate the 4th of July - Independence Day - what actually are we doing to move forward in our own agenda of Reparations and economic autonomy.  What, if anything, has this debate done to enhance our capacity to do and build for ourselves, coalesce together, develop  our own economic base?  Has it added anything to the development of our own educational/school system; funding for the sustaining of our HBCUs?  Do we even have a "Don't Celebrate the 4th Fund" to build monuments, or educational programs around it?  NO!  But we do have got mountains of article about it.  And as long as they can keep us writing and arguing about that, no plans or documents, or manuals will be developed for reparations. 

To be quite honest, I love the Fourth of July!!  When I was a kid in Oklahoma City, this was our Fourth of July:  A big picnic blanket; huge weeping willow trees for shade;  baskets and baskets of food; a bar-b-q pit with half a calf roasting on it - weenies on a stick, fresh ground hamburger patties being placed on a grill.  All my relatives coming together  bringing pies, cakes, you name it - and all us kids running around; turning flips, swinging upside down by our knees from the trees; playing hide and go seek, and any number of games.  We'd eat until we couldn't move; then by sun down there would be fire works - ours! Roman candles, bottle rockets, sparklers (which our parents allowed us to play with under their supervision); and my dad would do a gun salute to the USA with his shotgun - it's Oklahoma - we're allowed!  Nobody got hurt, no houses burned down; all good clean fun. 

We all knew we were living in a segregated, racist country - but right there in our backyard in our neighborhood, where we were all Black or Black/Indian, we still enjoyed the holiday and each other.  

And that's how I deal with the Fourth of July today.  I enjoy it.  I love the fireworks displays, the parades, the entertainment; the camaraderie - and the fact that we are probably the only country that actually does have a celebration of this sort.  And I will continue to do so - because there's absolutely not one thing that we can do to change how things were done in the past; and my focus for the future is not on refutation but REPARATIONS. 

So that when we declare our DECLARATION OF REPARATIONS, it will be based on where we're going, not just where we've been.  We've definitely come a long way - we still got a long way to go; but we won't get there if we keep looking back.  Let's move the agenda forward.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY !!!

THAT SAID, BELOW ARE FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS FOR PHILADELPHIA, NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY - ENJOY!!


Guide to July 4th in Philadelphia and Wawa Welcome America! Events

Fireworks, concerts, parades and parties during Independence Day in America’s Birthplace
For the Fourth of July, Philadelphia—America’s birthplace—paints the town red, white and blue thanks to eight days of music, exhibitions, Colonial characters and re-enactments, patriotic ceremonies and, of course, fireworks.
Celebrate Independence in Philadelphia with the eight-day Wawa Welcome America! festival from June 27-July 4 featuring FREE special events and activities throughout the city leading up to the massive Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Twitter Accounts To Follow For the Latest July 4th Updates

Most events during July 4th in Philadelphia are rain or shine, so be sure to get the most up-to-date information by following the accounts below on Twitter.
Twitter Accounts To Follow
@July4thPhilly @visitphilly @INDEPENDENCENHP
@PhiladelphiaGov @uwishunu @HistoricPhilly
@philly311 @PHLVisitorCntr @penns_landing
@SEPTA_SOCIAL @ConstitutionCtr @lgbt50th

Thursday, July 2, 2015

FREE Admission to the National Constitution Center

Time: 9:30 a.m.–8 p.m. Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Enjoy a day of FREE admission to the National Constitution Center, including the new exhibition Speaking Out for Equality: The Constitution, Gay Rights, and the Supreme Court, courtesy of Wawa. Explore hundreds of interactive exhibits, the inspirational Freedom Rising and a special display highlighting Wawa's commitment to military, fire and police.
More on the National Constitution Center

Go 4th & Learn About History

Time: 10 a.m.–Noon Location: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Go 4th & Learn during Wawa Welcome America! continues at the National Constitution Center with a morning of special events and educational activities. The first 800 kids will receive a free book courtesy of Duffy Books in Homes USA.

Wawa Hoagie Day

Time: Noon–1:30 p.m. Location: Independence Mall, Market Street Between 5th and 6th Streets
Your lunch plans are covered on July 2 as the 23rd annual Wawa Hoagie Day returns to Independence National Historical Park. Any and all visitors can feast on FREE Wawa hoagies in honor of local and national heroes including members of the military, fire and police departments. Meet Food Network Chef Robert Irvine and enjoy performances by NBC’s The Voice contestants Matthew Schuler and Audra McLaughlin along with the USO Show Troupe.
More on Wawa Hoagie Day
Wawa will once again provide free hoagies to all visitors in front of the Independence Visitor Center during the 23rd annual Wawa Hoagie Day. (Photo courtesy Wawa Welcome America!)

Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert & Fireworks

Time: 8:00 p.m. Location: Great Plaza @ Penn’s Landing, 101 S. Columbus Blvd.
Now in its 8th year, the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra will perform a FREE Neighborhood Concert on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing. Following the orchestral show, enjoy a land-side fireworks display on the Delaware River Waterfront.
More on the Philadelphia Orchestra Neighborhood Concert
The Philadelphia Orchestra is coming to Penn's Landing for a FREE waterfront performance followed by a land-side fireworks display on July 2, 2015. (Photo courtesy the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation)

Philly @ The Movies: The Sixth Sense

Time: 9 p.m. Location: Rittenhouse Park, 210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Spend a spooky evening in Rittenhouse Square during the final FREE screening as part of the Philly @ The Movies series. M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, filmed in parts of Philadelphia, is a classic supernatural thriller staring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment and few ghostly co-stars.

Friday, July 3, 2015

1776 Experience Revolutionary War Encampment

Time: July 3-4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Location:National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street
Experience the life of an American Revolutionary War soldier as you enter a recreated historic military encampment on the lawn of the National Constitution Center. Practice mustering with the troops, visit the wounded in a medical tent, look for a new sword at the blacksmith shop or go hands-on with carpentry and leatherwork as you experience the soldier’s life.
Read more

Liberty Block Party

Time: 1 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Location: 5th and 6th Streets Between Market and Chestnut Streets
Begin celebrating July 4th a day early during the Liberty Block Party in Historic Philadelphia, a FREE street festival featuring fantastic food, live entertainment and more.
Read more

Signers’ Day Celebration

Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Location:Christ Church, 2nd and Market streets
Amid concerts and festivals, take a moment to remember the men who signed the Declaration of Independence during the Signer's Day Celebration at Christ Church and Burial Ground featuring family-fun, a visit from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and an opportunity to sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence .
Read More

POPS! On Independence

Time: 8 p.m. Location: Steps of Independence Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets
The Philly Pops! return to celebrate America’s birthday with POPS! On Independence, a FREE, patriotic concert in front of Independence Hall. Bring a picnic and a lawn chair for one of the most popular Independence Day traditions in Philadelphia featuring inspiring classics from Conductor Michael Krajewski and soloists Capathia Jenkins and Darius de Haas will take part in this year’s show.
more on Pops! on Independence

Saturday, July 4

Historic Philadelphia Pass: 4 Days of the 4th

Maximize your fun this holiday weekend with a FREE Historic Philadelphia Pass offering exclusive discounts and offers, including as 50% off select admission, to 19 attractions in the Historic District. The pass can be picked up anytime at the Historic Philadelphia Center (6th & Chestnut Streets), the Independence Visitor Center (6th & Market streets) or the National Constitution Center (6th & Arch streets), or any participating attraction from July 2-5. For more information, click the button below. More on Historic Philadelphia Pass

Free Museum Admission on the 4th

In addition to the fantastic events happening in Historic Philadelphia for Independence Day, the National Constitution Center and the National Museum of American Jewish History will be offering FREE admission all-day.

Celebration of Freedom Ceremony

Time: 10-11 a.m. Location: Steps of Independence Hall, 6th and Chestnut Streets
Pay tribute to the history of our great nation at Independence Hall with a patriotic and inspiring morning of music, a reading of excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. This year’s ceremony commemorates a number of important milestones: the 50th anniversary of the first major LGBTQ protest in the United States; the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; the 50th anniversary of the Immigration & Nationality Act of 1965; and the 150th anniversary of the addition of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visitors can also witness the initiation of new American citizens during a special naturalization ceremony at the event.
More on the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony
Inspiring remarks, music and a reading from the Declaration of Independence kick off the Independence Day festivities at Independence Hall.

Independence Day Parade

Time:11 a.m.-1 p.m. Location: Throughout Historic Philadelphia
One of the highlights of Philadelphia's July 4th celebration is the Independence Day Parade, an inspiring, 1.2 mile march through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. This year, spectators can expect a visit from Miss America 2015, various marching bands playing patriotic favorites, military groups and performance teams. The parade winds its way through the streets of Historic Philadelphia, starting in front of Independence Hall before parading down Market Street towards the Delaware River.
more on the Independence Day Parade
Independence Day in Philadelphia begins with a parade through Historic Philadelphia featuring more than 6,000 participants from around the country. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Let Freedom Ring Ceremony

Time: 1 p.m.–2 p.m. Location: Independence National Historical Park, 6th and Market Streets
Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence and Pennsylvania Society’s Sons of the Revolution take part in this special event in the shadow of Independence Hall. The morning celebration concludes with symbolic tapping of the Liberty Bell at 2 p.m.
More on the Let Freedom Ring Ceremony

Party on the Parkway

Time: Noon–7 p.m. Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 20th Street to Eakins Oval
Thousands pack Philadelphia's scenic Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a FREE, day-long festival of food, live entertainment and family friendly fun on July 4th. The Party on the Parkway features blocks of exciting activities, games, entertainment and more. Don't miss Pogopalooza, the world championship of extreme pogo, the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Road to Rio Tour or live music at the festival's Global Music and Questlove Stages.
More on the Party on the Parkway
Thousands pack the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for a FREE, day-long party featuring food, live music, family fun and more. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks

Time: 7–11 p.m. Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at Eakins Oval
The "Largest Free Concert in America", the Wawa Welcome America! Philly 4th of July Jam is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the FREE concert features some of the largest musical acts in the country including Philly's own The Roots. The 2015 Philly 4th of July Jam stars The Roots, with special guests Miguel and Jennifer Nettles. Keep an eye out for more special guest announcements as made available. Can't make it to the Parkway? The festivities will be covered live locally by 6ABC and online.
Immediately following the concert, July 4th comes to an explosive end with an incredible fireworks finale over the Philadelphia Museum of Art sponsored by Discovery's Shark Week.
More on the Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks
Philadelphia's spectacular July 4th celebration comes to a close with a massive fireworks display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

See It All In A PHLASH

One of the best (and family-friendly) ways to get around during the week of July 4th, the PHLASH an easy and affordable way to travel to 22 of the city’s most popular attractions including Penn’s Landing, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Reading Terminal Market and the Philadelphia Zoo. The unmistakeable purple bus makes stops every 15 minutes with rides starting at $2 per person or $5 for an all-day pass. Plus, kids under 4 ride FREE.
Read more
The PHLASH bus is the most convenient and affordable way to get around to 22 of the city’s most popular attractions (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

 

JULY 4TH IN PHILADELPHIA











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 NEW YORK CITY & NEW JERSEY

AFRICAN STREET FESTIVAL 2015

    1. Map of International African Arts Festival
  1. International African Arts Festival
  2. Festival · Brooklyn
  3. Commodore Barry Park






    • iaaf11-market4



    Join us for four days of family-friendly, fun-filled
    art, culture, and entertainment that celebrates
    the African Diaspora in Brooklyn...since 1971.
     
    :::::::::: CONFIRMED ARTISTS ::::::::::
    LIVING COLOUR (GRAMMY® award-winning band: Rock!) July 4
    TALIB KWELI (your favorite rapper's favorite rapper: Hip Hop!) July 3
    NORMAN CONNORS (famed musician: Jazz + R&B!) July 4
    KAƏSSA (Cameroon-born esteemed vocalist: World Music!) July 5
    CITA RODRIGUEZ (beloved Bronx-born Puerto Rican vocalist: Salsa!) July 2
    NEW KINGSTON (new generation music: Reggae!) July 2
    AYANNA GREGORY (soul singer, activist: Healing Message Music!) July 5
    ...and more!
     
     
    SELECT PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
    World Class Marketplace • Children’s Program and Play Area • Youth Talent Show
    Arts and Craft Zone • Chess Tournament • Natural Hair Show + Barber Competition
    Fashion Show • Parade • 26th Annual NAKO Symposium, and more!
     
      Thursday, July 2 - Sunday, July 5, 2015!
     10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (rain or shine)
     
     
    Donation: $5 adults + $2 children

    Web: www.iaafestival.org | Social: Facebook • #IAAF2015 • Twitter
    44th annual iaaf

    Click here for your Donation

    Enter Amount
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4th of july
Independence Day Celebrations and Things to Do in NYC 4th of July 2015
*Including Fireworks, Harbor Cruises, Walking Tours, Street Fairs, Music and BBQ’s 
http://wp.me/p428ro-bFj

Blue Man show
July 2 - Dec. 31, 2015
2.3 miles south
Blue Man Group is back with a new stage show that combines comedy, art, science, visual effects, and music at Astor Place Theatre.
Funky barbecue
July 3, 2015 (5 p.m., doors 4 p.m.)
5 miles south via ferry
Governors Club Funk-N’-Cue features funk music and barbecued food outdoors at Governors Island Beach Club. 
 
New York fireworks
July 4, 2015 (9:20 p.m.)
1 mile west
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular lights up the sky above the East River at 9:20 p.m. Free.
Improvisational theater
July 4, 2015
1.6 miles south
Enjoy hours of improv shows and a potluck barbecue at IndieFest at the Peoples Improv Theater (PIT).
New Jersey fireworks
July 4, 2015 (12 to 10 p.m.)
9 miles SW
Jersey City Freedom & Fireworks Festival has free live music, a carnival, food trucks, and fireworks at 9 p.m. in front of the Statue of Liberty at Liberty State Park.
Hot-dog eating contest
July 4, 2015
18 miles south
Watch qualified champion eaters compete in world famous Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island, plus music and entertainment. Free.
New music
July 4 - Sept. 5, 2015 (Saturdays from June)
3 miles
Warm Up is experimental live music, DJs and dancing in the outdoor courtyard of MoMA PS1 in Queens.
Clean comedy
July 4 - Sept. 26, 2015 (Saturdays)
0.5 miles NW
ComedySportz has two teams of comedians act out humorous situations based on audience suggestions at tiny Broadway Comedy Club. Discount tickets $8.
Free concerts at MoMA
July 5 - 26, 2015 (8 p.m. Sundays)
0.3 miles north
Attend four weekly jazz and classical music concerts at Summergarden in the sculpture garden of the Museum of Modern Art. Limited seating. Free.


STAY BLESSED  &
ECLECTICALLY BLACK

Gloria


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