What Does the 250th Anniversary of the Independence Mean to a 'Browner' America?

  • Mimi Yang Carthage College
Keywords: American 'color', 'browner' America, critical race theory, multicultural democracy, multiracial patriotism, WASP


Frederick Douglass’ 1852 address “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” poignantly called attention to the Black people who were still unfree slaves when the Republic joyfully celebrated freedom and independence on its 76th anniversary. Echoing Douglass, this paper searches for the meaning of the 250th anniversary in a deeply fractured and divided America by focusing on the historical and current ‘color scheme.’ An in-depth examination of America’s history and cultural history, represented by the paradigms White, Black, Brown, Yellow, and Browner opens space for analysis and arguments on the formation of national character, the cultivation of cultural identity, and the definition of Americanism. This essay tackles the core of Whiteness in relation to Blackness (African Americans), Brownness (Native Americans), and Yellowness (Chinese/Asian Americans) to unpack a heated and culturally charged topic of race relations and capture the significance of the ‘Browner’ in ‘Browner America’ in anticipation of the 250th anniversary.