July 4

4

Millions of Americans have nothing to celebrate on the Fourth of July

On Independence Day, the stirring words of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence set the tone. Buried a bit further down, however, is another passage that is somewhat less well-known:

“…the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

That line, and America’s subsequent history with Native Americans, goes a long way toward explaining why the holiday largely does not resonate with the United States’ roughly 5.2 million indigenous peoples.

Trends? Did you say Trends? Come, my child! I have so much to tell you.

  • America celebrated July 4, the day George Washington discovered fireworks.
  • Princess Charlotte got royally christened.
  • The USWNT licked Japan in the World Cup finals.
  • Ariana Grande licked a tray of donuts.
  • You guys ruined Zoobe in the most entertaining way possible.
  • Ringo Starr turned 75 with a little help from his friends.
  • SDCC. Lookin’ good, nerds.
  • Shark Week devoured Discovery Channel’s regular line-up of naked survivalists and coverall’d moonshiners.
  • Spoilers: Harper Lee dgaf about your Mockingbird headcanon. Seriously. Spoilers in search.
  • Wimbledon wimbled on. 
  • And Big Brother 17, the biggest brother yet.

Did you ever see a more splendiferous list? Now blogs:

  • Every Single Word (everysinglewordspoken): 100 years of film, a few dozen lines of dialogue from POC. 
  • GIF Artist Collective (gifartistscollective): Without GIFs there would be chaos. 
  • No Wrong Way to Play (nowrongwaytoplay): There is no game, only the polygonal edges of the universe.

Image via uswntgifs

7

Capturing a Hidden America with @everydayUSA

To see more explorations of “what American means to me”, follow the contributors of @everydayUSA on Instagram and explore the #identityUSA hashtag.

Over the past year, a group of photojournalists have been telling stories about Americans you won’t see on the news. Their account is @everydayusa, and the 16 contributors have shown what it’s like to live on the nation’s poverty line with the images of Matt Black (@mattblack_blackmatt), to quiet moments of beauty photographed by Malin Fezehai (@malinfezehai), ironic encounters with modern Americana by David Guttenfelder (@dguttenfelder), and more.

One of the members is Miki Meek (@mikimeek). She is half-Japanese, grew up Mormon in West Mountain, Utah and now lives in New York City where she works as a producer for the public radio show This American Life. “I’m a very random — or maybe classic — American,” she says.

To tell stories like Miki’s, the group has started #identityUSA, a call for personal images that answer the question, “What does America mean to me?” Miki says, “We are all spread out, with different interests and backgrounds, missions and viewpoints. We’re trying to tease out what isn’t obvious, but is right in front of you.”

10

There was only one night game a year. On the 4th of July, the whole sky would brighten up with fireworks, giving us just enough light for a game. We played our best then because, I guess, we all felt like the big leaguers under the lights of some great stadium. Benny felt like that all the time. We all knew he was gonna go on to bigger and better games, because every time we stopped to watch the sky on those nights like regular kids, he was there to call us back. You see, for us, baseball was a game. But for Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez, baseball was life.