Sunday, February 21, 2010


What Does the Word Freedom Mean?

For thousands of years

Native Americans lived in equality.

Most tribes had no rich or poor.

Everyone worked and there were no prisons.

Women had many of the most important jobs.

They also had the power to make decisions,

and those decisions were respected.

They robbed these people of their land and culture in the name of freedom.

In the thirteen colonies

the Gentry class had the power.

Professionals and people with money received little respect.

Only English Gentlemen were the first class citizens.

A British official said,

“Poverty will produce industry and frugality.”

When a British magistrate found people guilty,

they were tied to a tree on State Street and whipped.

And someone said,

“Give me liberty or give me death.”

Many died in a revolution to end British rule.

An in the end, they called it freedom.

But this new freedom said,

Black people were three fifths of a human being.

This new freedom said,

chattel slavery was the law.

The slave had no rights.

They were whipped and even killed,

sometimes merely for asserting their humanity.

And they said to escape slavery was to be free.

After another war that cost 600,000 lives,

chattel slavery was abolished.

Four million African Americans could sell their own labor,

and they said this was freedom.

But this new freedom said,

children must work sixty hours per week.

This new freedom said,

women were not allowed to vote.

Workers went on strike

and some were murdered demanding improved conditions.

Thousands demonstrated to end legalized discrimination.

In the end, some called this freedom.


Freedom to be told what to do in school,

so a boss can tell you what to do for the rest of your life.

Freedom to live in a country that murders people throughout the world.

Someone once said,

“A people to be free,

must necessarily be their own rulers.”[1]

Are we our own rulers?

Freedom means you don’t have to spend your life

making sure someone else lives in opulence.

Freedom means you don’t have to live in fear

of loosing a job, or a house, or anything you might need.

Freedom is the right to think for yourself.

Freedom is the right to say or do what you like,

as long as it doesn’t infringe on the freedom of someone else.

Freedom means that you receive the fruits of your labor.

Freedom means that you’re boss is not a boss,

but a leader that you elect.

Freedom means that women will have the right to

wear what they want, say what they feel, and not be judged by their sex.

Freedom means that human needs are

more important than profits.

Freedom means that no one profits

from the discrimination against another.

But to attain freedom we must struggle.

Just as they struggled to end British tyranny.

Just as they struggled to end chattel slavery.

We can struggle to be free.

[1]Proceedings of the National Emigration Convention of Colored People. Taken from Black Nationalism in America, Edited by John H. Bracy, Jr., August Meier, and Elliott Rudwick. P. 90

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