Growing up in America, we notice that the words ‘African Americans’ and ‘Freedom’ often show up together. We had the Freedomways Magazine, there were Freedom Schools, Freedom songs, Freedom marches etc. Later in the 1970’s the word “liberation” was the trend- and seeing freedom and liberation used in tandem with ‘black people’ has never faded. This society seems to condone or endorse this practice. But now, one wonders what does freedom mean? For slaves it would seem clear – freedom from shackles, but was that all? After the shackles were removed, their children also sought freedom - from Jim Crow? Now after Jim Crow we still hear the word freedom used as a goal. However, what does this freedom mean? Does it mean the freedom to do something? Does it mean Freedom from something or someone? Do we want freedom to act just like everyone else we see? Do we want freedom from responsibility? Or is it true that freedom is responsibility? Should we seek personal freedom, economic freedom? Is it the same as when we hear that America is leader of the free world? (Does freedom have leaders?) Should we even be associated with this word? Is it too vague- or can it be defined?
What is meant by black freedom?
“Oh freedom, oh freedom,
oh freedom over me
And before I'd be a slave
I'll be buried in a my grave
And go home to my Lord and be free…”