On Independence Day we took some time to think about “What, To The Slave, Is The Fourth Of July”.
As a young enslaved child, Frederick Douglas learned to read thanks to his new master’s wife who taught him the alphabet before the owner found out and told his wife that such an activity was illegal. Education transformed Douglas into a man eager for knowledge and a free thinker.
“From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom”, he said. Throughout his life, he became an African American abolitionist, orator, newspaper publisher, marshal, and author.
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass was invited to address the citizens of his hometown, Rochester, New York. Whatever the expectations of his audience on that 76th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Douglass used the occasion not to celebrate the nation’s triumphs rather to remind all of its continuing enslavement of millions of people.
This question continues to resonate: are we genuinely free nowadays? In an oppressive capitalist system, it is difficult to state that human beings are free. We face mass media manipulation, discrimination, insufficient natural resources, and the worst “cascade of human rights setbacks in our lifetimes”, according to the United Nations.
At Born Brown: All Rights Reserved we acknowledge that it is not enough to celebrate independence, institutions, or national treasures: there is a conversation about what freedom is today and whether or not people are experiencing it. As we contribute one another’s experience of freedom in everyday life through personal actions and attitudes of wellness, we express our commitment to bridge social gaps.
Free choice and free speech require vigilant exercise on all our parts to be effective. Otherwise, freedom will be merely an empty word.
Join us. Be a part of this conversation: #AreWeFree?