As I channel surfed through the stations looking for something to watch the youthful Jurnee Smollett-Bell caught my attention. I enjoy her work as an adult. The Great Debaters and the Underground Series are awesome. She seems to choose roles that speak to the struggle of what it means to be Black in America. Being Black in America, her portrayals interest me. I assumed the movie was broadcasting as a precursor to Black History month.
Although I admit I have grown weary of the shallow recognition of African-American contributions to the progress of civilization in North America and around the world during Black History Month, I could not resist watching the end of this movie about Bloody Sunday.
Jurnee had several singing parts during the movie. She would often passionately lead the freedom fighting selections with a bright smile that gleamed with determination for the cause to end discrimination and segregation. Additionally, the movie featured the clip by Lyndon B. Johnson about voting rights. He announced:
“At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom,” Johnson said that night. “So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.”……….
Toward the very end as they began to take their final march across Edmund Pettus Bridge, Cheyenne, Jurnee’s character, announced with great enthusiasm, she was ready to fight for freedom! It was then that I thought…..man’s unending search for freedom.
I realize what the horrendous state of America was for African- Americans was then and now. Why are we searching for the freedom we already possess. I know for certain that African-Americans were born free regardless of our zip code and as those counted in the diaspora!!!! I ask you today, why is it necessary to fight for freedom we already possess. The way we choose to “be” in America or any where in the world is up to us. Is freedom for African-Americans about breaking down walls, changing laws and protesting against unfair rules or is freedom in our individual minds? Cheyenne wanted to take back the freedom of her people. Is it possible then and even now that we are fighting to get something from others that “they” do not possess?
Everything is mental. As a man thinks so is he. The objects of knowledge have no existence except in the mind of the perceiver. We already have every thing we need to be successful in spite of the many adverse circumstances that surrounds us. We’ve marched, protested, suffered, and died. Yet the struggle continues. Nothing we have done in the freedom fight has had in-depth long-term effects. I’m not saying deny whatever responsibility one has committed to. I am saying, let’s look within ourselves and gain knowledge of self. Then we will find a path that leads outside the matrix. What would happen if we began to do one thing differently–decide to exist differently as an individual? What would happen if we declared our freedom and then saw ourselves free with our minds eye everyday? I know it sounds too easy but its better than begging, whining and complaining from the sidelines as spectators of our own destruction.
Thank you so much for reading.
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In peace and light,