Friday, August 13, 2010

Freedom Starts in the Mind

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. - Harriet Tubman

Charleston is one quaint town that I love to visit. It seems as if every tree, stone, house and building has a story connected to it. And, boy do I love stories. Recently, I found myself taking a few days of R&R in my favorite spot. (Other than seeing my aunt Sophia and her husband at my hotel all the way in a different state and quickly sneaking out the door to avoid a confrontation - everything was pretty much R&R - see blogs about family.)

My friend and I visited Boone Plantation. As the sun glared angrily down at us, we could just about imagine the miserable lifestyle of the slaves working in the field. I said, "just about" because we were merely walking around the plantation and not doing heavy labor. Brick slave cabins still exist on the plantation (the wood shacks were destroyed during one of the hurricane seasons). The bricks were handmade by the slaves and if you look closely you will find finger impressions in the bricks.

We walked through the cabins and it hit me, "Slaves lived, breathed, birthed babies in this very place. I'm standing where they stood, wept, dreamed and loved." One of the cabins was excavated and they found the bones of animals that were buried. They questioned, "How could slaves live off of the meager food rations - nutrition wise - and perform all the labor demanded of them?" They hunted and buried the leftover bones under the cabin floor so that the master wouldn't find them.

We also visited the Slave Market, where they brought the slaves, housed and cleansed them for auction. This is where I broke down crying and had a break through.

As I touched the walls that my ancestors were shackled to I wept for them and for me. I thought, "How dare I question my gifts? They made so much progress with limited resources...they fought so hard for freedom...MY FREEDOM. I have to do all that I can to live up to my full potential. How dare I question if I'm a good enough writer to go to graduate school or how could I afford it! I have to do it, for me and for them.

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. -Harriet Tubman Free your mind!

We live in fear daily: How can I afford it? What if I fail? What if I don't get promoted? How can I do this? If our ancestors lived in constant fear and worry, we wouldn't be free.

There's an old saying, "We stand tall on the shoulders of our ancestors." Yes, I'm standing tall, working on my manuscript to get to graduate school to write words that will motivate minds. I'm standing on the shoulders of Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. DuBois, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner and the unnamed hero's who shed blood by the lash or put fear aside and pushed for liberty.

I am turning forty next month and I have to show some growth this year in my journey. Me loving myself, pushing myself to reach my full potential, live life without regrets and fear is my goal. So yes, I'm free to live - live my best life now! It is not my desire, it is my destiny!

1 comment:

  1. Amen. We should NOT live in fear. Fly, Sister, FLY!!!