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Steve Fitzhugh describes what true freedom looks like.


Free Indeed
By Steve Fitzhugh

Free. No chains on my feet
No whip on my back
Cast iron braces no longer restrict
The movement of my limbs
For I am free aren’t I

Free. My name is not “darkie”
My name is not “boy”
Potato sacks and hand-me-downs
No longer comprise my wardrobe
Master don’t confine me
To the plantation no more
I move as I please
For I am free aren’t I

Free to read, free to write
Free to vote
Fred to do and say
Free to come and go
Freedom is good and I am Free!

But why does this freedom
Hurt not heal
Why does freedom
Bind my upwards aspirations
To status quo behavior

I say I am free
But I must wear the right suit
The right shoes
The right cologne
Purchased with the right salary
And working for the right company

I say I am free but I must drive the car
I must meet the right people
I must live in the right Neighborhood
I must say the right things
I must own the right credit cars
And of course I must have the right combination
Of consonants and vowels follow my full name
Mere academic decorations
BA, JD, MBA, Ph.D.
But I call myself free.

Although I am free
I must render immaculate credentials
To get that entry level job
Of which I am already overqualified
Though I am free
I also become invisible
When promotion and opportunity
Are distributed among my dark-suited
White collared peers, boring clones
Mere mundane masters of
Assimilation and conformity

Though I am free
I must painstakingly watch the spoon feeding
Of an inadequate social support system
Into the mouths of my sisters and brothers
Welfare, food stamps
Unemployment checks, EBT cards
All creating hopeless dependency
Unbearable, seemingly unending
Yet free I am I proclaim

Society has dropped the visible bonds
But chains I do not see
Cripple my mind puncture my hope
And transform my gazelle-like stride
African in nature
Into a pathetic comfortable crawl
Simply because my eyes are open
Yet my head and heart are blind
So I now sheepishly claim that I am free

Oh yes, I am free to cultivate my mind
Study, read, grow, but since my youth
I’ve grown addicted to television
Noise now fills my world
Two strong brothers, reflection and meditation
Who once facilitated inner growth and wisdom
Now find themselves denied by my car stereo
Drowned by my headphones, and man-handled
By my multifunction
Home entertainment center
But I call myself F-R-E-E, Free!

Character, Integrity, Morality
Strain to set standards in my world
Yet can barely be heard over the voice
Of compromise, my new master…
Sneaking into my thoughts through
Newspaper or magazines
Or invading my privacy through
Streaming frequencies

I say I am free, we are free
But in the eyes of my people
Another story is told
Defeat is assumed, Mediocrity presumed
Complacency resumed So I ask myself
Are we free? Am I free?

Freedom Constrained by
Oppression, racism and hatred
Is a living lie
I claim to be free but
I cannot see or feel the struggle
I am living the lie
What then is freedom?

When I see the hurting
And learn to heal
I am free
When see the down trodden
And learn to lift up
I am free
When I see the brokenhearted
An learn to cry
I am free
When I see the wayward
And learn to give counsel
I am free
When I see the lonely
An learn to be a friend
I am free
When I see the uneducated
And learn to teach
I am free
When I see the homeless
And learn compassion
I am free
When I see the selfishness
And learn to give
I am free
When I see the buying
And learn to save
I am free
When I see the shackles
And learn liberation
I am free
When I see the bitterness
And learn to forgive
I am free
When I see the oppression
And learn to over come
I am free
When I see the racism
And learn to express dignity
I am free
When I see the hatred
And learn to love
I am free

For freedom is a revelation
Not an autograph n a proclamation
Freedom is knowing and doing
Freedom is seeing
But seeing is in vain
If acting does not follow
Thus when I know and do
When I see and act
Only then can I say
I am truly
Free Indeed.


from Bold, Black & Beautiful, track released February 19, 2021
Guitaar by Julez Jardon, Movie Motion Orchestra by Diginoiz, written by Steve Fitzhugh


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Steve Fitzhugh Minneapolis, Minnesota

Steve is an international speaker, best-selling author, entrepreur, educator and humorist. He is also a former NFL athlete and contnues with the NFL today as a Certified NFL Transition Coach.

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