Gyasi Ross: Fireworks and freedom on the Suquamish Reservation

"For many Indians, fireworks seasons is about freedom.

I know that this is time for many to puff poetic about the political significance of Fourth of July, both positive and negative. Still, as kids we really didn’t think like that. We just knew that the Fourth was about freedom. On the Suquamish Rez, like most of the reservations in Western Washington, the Fourth of July was a special day. We blew off fireworks at a place called “The Slab,” occasionally catching houses, dogs or people on fire—playing basketball through volleys of flaming gunpowder. It was about freedom. No… the vast majority of the Skins on the rez didn’t care about “Freedom is Not Free” bumper stickers or fiery and explosive shows of patriotism. Some did get into that patriotic mind frame, I’m sure, but that certainly wasn’t the main sentiment.

Still, the Fourth of July was about freedom."

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Fireworks, Freedom and Feeling Up: The Significance of the Fourth in 600 Words (Indian Country Today 7/4)

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