Freedom’s Silhouette

No one doubts that Liberty is a Lady, in fact we call her by that very name. However, many forget that “Freedom” is a similar damsel who has proven to be particularly sensitive to the actions of any suitor who approaches. She is quick to leave, yet extremely loyal to those she chooses to embrace with her entire being.

I must relate that “Freedom’s” beautiful silhouette makes all fall to their knees. Put simply, her beauty is unrivaled in this earthly realm.

For African-Americans, “Freedom” has proven elusive and illusory. Many thought that she would open her arms to America’s dark brother with Lincoln’s Emancipation silhouette 1Proclamation, however, they were in error as her beautiful silhouette remained what many thought was a distant mirage. Many believe that it was not until President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts that “Freedom’s” beautiful silhouette intertwined with the descendants of enslaved Africans in this land of the free and home of the brave. We finally received our first intimate kiss from “Freedom” with the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as America’s first African-American president on January 20, 2008.

Our closeness to “Freedom” has taught the entire race one unmistakable fact, the things that you did to get her are required to remain in her embrace. Even a cursory glance of the present state of affairs reveals that there is significant discord occurring in African-Americans relationship with “Freedom”. One would be justified in asking the question, does “Freedom” love African-Americans anymore?

The evidence of such discord is the reality that our children are being killed in the streets by those who invariably go unpunished by the justice system. Laws are again being interpreted in a manner that makes the murder of Black men justifiable. Not even this nation’s highest ranking elected official, President Barack Hussein Obama, is safe from unprecedented insult and blatant bigotry.

At some point in our relationship, “Freedom” backed away from what we erroneously thought was bound to be a long lasting love affair. “Freedom” not only ignores us, but also questions if we ever loved her.

What happened to this relatively new relationship? Apparently “Freedom”, like her sister “Lady Liberty” grew tired of us silhouette 3forgetting to continue doing the little things that initially earned her embrace. We no longer display the resolute strength of Fredrick Douglass and courage of Harriet Tubman, we have allowed the cunning of Booker T. Washington to fade away, not to mention our total abandonment of a Du Boisian intellectual brilliance that highlighted what “Freedom” “Justice” and “Liberty” were about at their core. No longer do we apply the multi-faceted attacks of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malcolm X; we arrogantly behave as if “Freedom’s” embrace will last forever.

While enchanted by Freedom’s Silhouette, we allowed Hip-Hop Culture to become a larger influence upon our children that our historical story. No longer did we prod them toward educational endeavors, rather we wove a thread-bare lie that only a jump shot or rap song were capable of uplifting them from the multiple poverty’s (educational, economic, and social) that their contemporaries appeared mired within. It appears that we became extremely comfortable in our relationship with “Freedom” when Barack Hussein Obama was sworn into the Presidency.

“Freedom” has left us, and we must act expeditiously if we ever hope to feel her embrace again. We must remember the things that gained her attention in the first place. We must remember that hard work and perseverance earned her respect. silhouetteCourage caught her eye, while economic and political collectivism caused her to embrace us. It is only through the application of such priorities that we will be able to re-establish our relationship with “Freedom”. Hopefully this next embrace will allow for us to experience much more than her silhouette, because I am certain that she would be the first to tell us that there is so much more to see than that. Now we just have to regain her attention.

Patron Payton


© Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015

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