NPR

Why I Love (And Question) Independence Day

He grew up marching to celebrate Ghana's independence and now marvels at America's big July 4 bash. George Mwinnyaa reflects on the meaning of independence.
Students march during the celebration of Ghana's 60 years of independence on March 6 in Accra. Source: Cristina Aldehuela

On my first Fourth of July in the United States, I woke up in the morning, stretched and realized that my wife was still in bed.

I asked if she was going to work. She said, "Oh, don't you know today is July Fourth?"

I looked through our window. Just about everybody in Fernley, Nevada, the town where we lived, was on their way to Main Street with chairs, umbrellas, drinks and snacks.

I was confused. What were they going to celebrate? I was curious, too, so I got our camp chairs and headed out to join our neighbors. That's when my wife told me what was going on: "July Fourth is America's Independence Day."

I

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min readSociety
New York Activists Launch Hunger Strike To End Long-Term Solitary Confinement
Activists and survivors of solitary confinement are on a hunger strike to try to convince New York state lawmakers to end long-term solitary confinement.
NPR4 min read
'Patron Saints Of Nothing' Is A Book For 'The Hyphenated'
Young adult author Randy Ribay says it's tough having "a dual identity" in a world "where people want you to be one thing." His new novel explores the Philippine government's deadly war on drugs.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Supreme Court Hands Democrats A Win On Racial Gerrymandering In Virginia
Eleven legislative districts in Virginia were declared to be sorted by race and were redrawn. The court's decision Monday left that in place.