NPR ran this holiday themed piece asking readers what songs make them feel proud of their homeland. I chuckled for a moment at my predicable inability to even consider naming “The Star Spangled Banner” or, er…the other America song that’s famous and that people who are not named Jamilah sing at sporting events. Since I claim “Negronia” as my homeland (this is the name that I have given to Afro-America, though I am not the first person to have ever used the word), I’d have to say that James Brown’s “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” or even “Before I Let Go” by Frankie Beverly and Maze would get me feeling ‘patriotic’ before the American National Anthem.
That said, I thought for a moment about what this upcoming Independence Day holiday means to me. I’ve never regarded it as much more than a day for barbecues, a day off work if I was working a regular gig and an opportunity to drink and be merry with the homies. It speaks to my absolute lack of emotional attachment to all things Americana. I’ve felt brief, fleeting moments of American patriotism on one occasion in my life: September 11th, 2001. I couldn’t even bring myself to hold a flag when I traveled to DC for the Inauguration in 2008. From chattel slavery to Katrina to the treatment of our first Black President, America has give us her ass to kiss enough times for me to feel a level of detachment that I find to be beyond justified.
What about you, Clutchettes? Will you be donning your red, white and blues this weekend and getting full off the spirit of the good ole USA? Or will you just be getting full on chicken wings and spirits? Speak!