Commentary: Hamburgers, hot dogs and military tanks mark July 4th celebrations

Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

Commentary: Hamburgers, hot dogs and military tanks mark July 4th celebrations
July 11
15:05 2019

By Dr. James B. Ewers Jr.

America highlights July 4th in a variety of ways and traditions. It is usually festive with lots of food and family gatherings. The grill is on and the potato salad is on the table. Food treats are brought over to the house and everybody gets more than their fair share of their favorite cuisine. Take home plates are always in order.

Soem people love to travel during the 4th of July, so the restaurants make big money during this time. Over the past weeks thousands of people descended upon the city of New Orleans. In addition to being one of the most popular tourist cities in the world, it is also the home of the Essence Festival. This three-day event is now in it 25th year and is more popular than ever.

Folks come to my place of residence to have a good time and a good time they have. During Essence, sleep is optional. Some do it and others don’t. Hotels are full and the Superdome and French Quarter are jumping.

During this Essence Fest, politics took a center stage and was on the minds of many of the revelers. Democratic candidates for president Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and Elizabeth Warren make appearances and gave their pitches as to why they should be president of the United States.

Was this a wise move to come to New Orleans? Yes, it was. Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League said, “Anybody running for president who skips Essence, I’m not sure what’s on their mind. I’m not so sure it shows good common sense.”

I believe strongly that missing Essence is a missed opportunity. During this event, there are thousands of registered voters who you can impress. People are undecided so a candidate can share their plans for America. If a candidate didn’t come, then we will see the risk they took by not being there.

Will history repeat itself? The year was 2007 and a senator from Illinois decided to come to the Essence Festival and tell the people why he should become the next president. That senator from Illinois was Barack Obama. Essence is a powerful tribute to African American culture and pride. It shines a spotlight on our success and gives us a blueprint for the future.

If you have never been to Essence, start planning to attend in 2020. It will be an unbelievable experience. it will be time well invested and money well spent. Bring your family and friends and just make it a reunion.

While some of us were at Essence or in the backyard with the grill, there was also a July 4th celebration in Washington D.C. The 4th of July event sponsored by this administration was a bit different that previous years. This year’s event showcased our military strength. Military tanks and a flyover by the Blue Angels were a part of this occasion.

Compared to other years, this was a much more costly affair. Some military leaders silently questioned the cost and the appropriateness of this event. Some critical of the administration said it was highly political. For example, tickets were made available to only a select number of people. It was also a first to see a caricature of the president as a part of the parade.

America has the greatest military in the world, so I hope you enjoyed your hamburgers and hots dogs. It is safe to say we have come to expect the unexpected from this president. What will he do for our next holiday?

Stay tuned.

James B. Ewers Jr., Ed.D., is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator and can be reached at

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors