Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Considering My Freedom by Erica Lerisse
I love the fact that Erica wrote this essay especially because I just finished a phenomenal Bible study about breaking free from the chains than bind a Christian. I love her summary!:
Because of recent books that I have read, the question has remained in my mind: "Who bought my freedom?" I think about the years between 1776-1779. The War of Independence was fought and the Declaration of Independence signed, and although the colonists' independence from the English government was declared, that secured no freedom for my people---they were still enslaved on tobacco and cotton fields in those newly freed colonies.
Then I consider the war of 1812 and the French and Indian War--they secured no freedom for my people. The battle at the Alamo was fought, and though Texans gained alot and the USA gained a new state, The blacks were still in chains. Skirmishes here and wars there, and then there was the Civil War. Although one result of this war was the emancipation of the slaves, you do not have to read many history books to know that freedom was still far off for the slaves. Immediately following the emacipation, Jim Crow was still the law of the land, lynchings were legal and frequent and any black man daring to raise his eyes to the same level of a white woman or man South of the Mason-Dixon Line, soon found out just how free he really was.1914 bought WW1 but the blacks couldn't fight in that war. 1934 ushered in WW2 and still German POWs had more freedom within the boarders of the USA than did black US citizens and soldiers!---Amazing. In considering all these things, I realize that though these wars did not make my people free, as a black woman living in the 21st century, I do now enjoy the privileges of freedom because of those wars being fought and won. But still where did MY freedom come from?
Then people like the Tuskegee Airmen came on the scene paving the way for integration of the armed forces. Lynchings finally became illegal, although the KKK was still protected by local officials. Thurgood Marshall won cases integrating the public schools; Rosa Parks sparked a revolution; Martin Luther King marched in peace for equal rights; and Jim Crow was legally put to death. Finally, the blacks began to taste freedom; but still who won my freedom?
Who won it for me? John 8:36-"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."!
Even had I been the victim in shackles in the belly of a slave ship, I could still be free in Christ Jesus my Lord. In chains, bent over in the Alabama heat on a cotton field, I could still be free. On the back of the bus or in a Jim Crow train car, I could still be free. So once again my troubled spirit has found peace, peace in my Lord Jesus Christ, who has made me free!