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Black History Month: Pursuit of Liberty

Black History is the celebration of the effort of America to correct its past and heal its citizens. Why not contribute to the Good of that?

Birth of Liberty

Justice, equality, and respect demonstrated in society on individual instances and on national scales recorded by digital and physical historians, great and small, tell stories unveiling new vistas of freedom and expression, and come with costs, high as they are lofty.

Black History Month is a celebration of the high costs that societies pay to nurture human liberty. What better place to focus than the cradle of modern liberty, the United States of America which contained the ideas that married, consummated, birthed, carried, and raised modern liberty; though, she did not yet have power to enforce her free will upon humankind until her maturity blossomed following the many wars the world over? Freedom is no more American than Jesus is simply for Christians.

True freedom is the flow of information. With that freedom comes the responsibility to promote understanding so that freedom is never lost to ignorance. Freedom to be, to exist, does not translate into freedom from responsibility. Freedom and restriction complement each other to provide joy in life. Individual freedoms end where the rights of the next person begin.

The lessons society has learned since the human trafficking slavery of the United States to the rights of women to determine if their individual rights supersede the rights of the unborn to exist begs that Black History Month is a time to reflect on the rights of all humans and not only to glorify the heroes who survived and thrived during the dark days of oppression and intolerance.

The famed anthem of freedom, Lift Every Voice and Sing carries with it a message, a warning, and a covenant that devolves upon all those who can express his or her divine rights of liberty and justice.

The following is an adaptation of the lyrical message of the laudable anthem to focus on the message, warning, and covenant that the words bring.

The Message

Lift every voice and sing until earth and heaven rings with the harmonies of Liberty! Speak, people of the world until the airways and internet flood with the echoes of freedom for all of God’s children. Speak freedom and liberty to all of God’s children from the homeless to the fortified palaces of the wealthy until all have freedom to act and move if it be their desire to act and move.

Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies. Let it resound as loud as the rolling sea. Support freedom and liberty with prayer and supplication to the gods of your several religions and billions of beliefs the world over until it becomes a great noise comparable to the crashing sounds of the waves of water of the oceans upon the craggy shores. Speak liberty to the world with the powerful sounds of the jet as it flies by, leaving in its wake the roar of deafening presence.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, full of the hope that the present has brought us. Never allow it forgotten or left unspoken the hard tales of the histories of the past and the struggles of the fallen who forged ahead to gain the ground won and enjoyed in the present. Remember the slaves, the captives, and suffering of the millions who lived and died nurturing infant liberty, who grew and grows yet into futurity.

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, let us march on till victory is won. Taking ownership of the past without yielding captive to its hurt, we march forward in thought, action, and heart to make liberty a reality of all of the human race.

The Warning Price of History

Stony, the road we trod and bitter, the chastening rod felt in the days when hope unborn had died. The heavy burden our ancestors bore never seeing the fruit of their labors because they stood as the foundation of what would come. What did the plantation slave know of the unpaid works he (and she) did that would pay for the liberties of his (and her) descendants and the descendants of his (and her) neighbors and fellow beings? Dead were those thoughts and ideas before they could conceive in the hearts of the slave or the woman who might ponder them.

Yet with a steady beat have not our weary feet come to the place for which our fathers sighed? This freedom EXISTS in America and other nations of the world whether we see the full effects of its presence or not. Freedom to speak and to act in many nations is law, guaranteed, and supported by constitutions of the world.

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered. We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered--out from the gloomy past until now we stand at last where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. Fighting with might encouraged change by letter, then by culture, and continuing effort of faith and hope to purge the darkness. Bleeding in the streets, hanging from trees, and ravaged by murdering marauding mobs of the opposition of liberty paid the best blood of the world for this present generation of privileged men and women to speak and act on a more level plane of mortality.

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The Covenant Responsibility of Free People

God of our weary years and silent tears, Who has brought us thus far on the way and by Thy might, led us into the light; keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places where we met Thee--or our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee. This introduction is a prayer of covenant and safety to the God of us all acknowledging how, through His sustaining power, might, majesty, and Grace of His Son, Jesus, our ancestors, grandparents, and parents have endured and suffered much to gain what we currently have.

It is a prayer of protection that if ever we faulter, start to slide into the errors of the past because the way has long been made too easy in liberty, He would intervene for the sake of our lands, our posterity. Again, though this particular anthem is spoken regarding the United States of America, it is my contention that it applies to the entire human family. Lest we forget, remind us, Lord of all, that we are here through much, much tribulation to our ancestors, mothers, and fathers!

Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand true to our God and our native land. The Pledge of Allegiance and its controversial past in the US is a signal of this protection, shadowed beneath the hand of God as it goes:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands…

That pledge or personal covenant that we make as US citizens binds us to the native land we call our home. This same oath can apply to all lands of freedom where people take oaths to uphold the standard of human dignity and freedom for all people of whatever persuasion they will. It is a covenant to democratic liberty.

…one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Particularly this oath stands America as a jewel of liberty to the world as in it we acknowledge God as the founder of our indivisible justice and liberty for all people, a pledge we must work constantly to keep because it is one generation away from being broken.

It does not mean that America is for the Christians and against other religions any more than the separation of church and state means creating a nation without faith or God. Liberty is a gift for all humanity just as one church does not own the right to have all faith nor one group have the right to have no faith in existence. America is for the faithful and the faithless, neither EVER being free from the other as long as the Constitution reigns supreme upon the land.

Freedom is no more American than Jesus is simply for Christians.

America was created, in my estimation, as an ensign to the nations of the world. Though it is not perfect in its application of freedom since its birth, its aim has been lofty and remains so until it can be sounded across the world of humanity. America is only supposed to be the first of many bastions of freedom that will come to the world slowly and through much labor on the backs of many who have and will yet offer their lives in the service thereto. Merry Black History Month!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Rodric Anthony Johnson


Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on February 11, 2021:

I love it when a group of people sing the song, Pamela. It gives me hope!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on February 11, 2021:

Thanks for reading, Bill. I know your time is valuable and using it to read my words is a blessing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2021:

Powerful message and powerful writing, my friend. I have no frame of reference, no idea what it is like to be black, no concept of living a life with restricted liberties....but articles like this one open my eyes, and that's a start in the right direction.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 11, 2021:

I enjoyed listening to the choir sing "Lift Every Voice", and I like the message. It is good to know America is the jewel of liberty in the world. This is a very good article that I enjoyed reading and I agree with you, Rodric.

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