by The Tuesday Justice Community
In honor of both the 4th of July and Canada150, we asked our readers and friends and family to tell us about FREEDOM: What is it? What does it mean to you? When you hear the word, what comes to mind?
The answers ranged from the humorous….
“Apple pie” – Erich
“Babysitter” – Hart
…to the personal….
“Freedom to me personally would be to live without anxiety. I’ve been dealing with it since I was young but did not understand until a few years ago that I struggled with this. There are some days when I wake up and do not have it – that is the most free I have ever felt. I just never know when those days will surface.” – Jessica
…some based their answers on imagery…-
“It’s a dancer and represents how we are pulled down by the events, surroundings, failures, pain, or even the people in our lives, but the light is just above us and attainable. We simply have to take a leap to experience freedom, and allow those experiences to boost us up, not drag us down.” – Rachael
“I am so thankful to the women that have paved the way for my daughter to have freedom to choose her own paths and fulfill her ambitions. We still have a long way to go, but for me equality, justice and freedom are interlinked. This photo was taken on my first mother’s day this year. 3 generations.” – Leah
“Freedom – the reality/concept/belief/right that I can fully express my individuality and personality without fear of ridicule or judgment. The right any human has because of their humanity. Freedom protects the dignity of human life. Freedom allows my worth as a person to be celebrated and encouraged. I am free to live, to love, to study, to work, to praise, to mourn, to teach, to grieve, to socialize, to travel, to save, to spend. Freedom expressed is freedom celebrated. My inherent worth shines when I am free. Because I work with adolescents, this picture, which hangs in my office, is a great reminder of freedom. She is free to be a kid, to learn and play as she sees fit…regardless of gender, color, belief, or class. I want this for all my adolescents. I want to see each one experience freedom. Freedom for all.” – Kayla
…and others used song…
(I particularly appreciated these because I’m always looking for good songs to listen to while I write posts for Tuesday Justice!)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Foxey Lady (Miami Pop 1968) – Dave
- Katy Perry’s song Roar – Camilla
- Arcade Fire – No Cars Go – Jemma
- Blue Mink ~ Good Morning Freedom – Jade
- Les Miserables 10th Anniversary – Epilogue… – Paul
(Channon and I had some song ideas too. See the full collection here in The Tuesday Justice Freedom EP.)
…but my favorite responses were those that really got to the heart of what Tuesday Justice is all about:
working for the full FREEDOM of all people.
“I’ve often learned about freedom as being an absence of something. Freedom is not being caged. Freedom is when you aren’t hindered from doing or saying what you want. Freedom is the abolition of slavery. I think that definition is on the right track, but I would argue that there’s a little more to it. To me, freedom is being able to thrive. Freedom is being empowered and self-sufficient. A person is free when she has agency to draw her own conclusions about the world and make decisions accordingly. Freedom isn’t just the absence of enslavement; it’s the presence of autonomy.” – Anna Grace
“’I will tell you what freedom is to me: No fear.’ – Nina Simone” – Katherine
“What is freedom? It’s getting up every morning for a fight. Because freedom isn’t ‘won.’ It’s not a marker that we can reach or ever will reach. It’s always going to be a fight… Freedom for black and brown bodies…. Freedom for LGBTQ folks…. Freedom for those with pre-existing conditions…. Freedom for the poor and the disenfranchised… It’s always a fight against the powers that be… The principles and powers in high places.” – Terry
What I love about these answers is that they point to the reality that, while we can celebrate how far we’ve come, we’ve still got a long way to go. I hope you’ll keep going with us, fighting the good fight for freedom.
The Tuesday Justice Freedom EP
(for y’all without Apple Music)
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Foxey Lady (Miami Pop 1968) – When Dave suggested this, I didn’t quite get why. His explanation was perfect: “It’s total freedom! Freedom of artistry, freedom of expression, freedom from societal constraints. It’s everything I aspire to be and more. That’s why Hendrix represents freedom to me.”
- Katy Perry – Roar
- Arcade Fire – No Cars Go
- Blue Mink ~ Good Morning Freedom – Jade suggested this because of a Freederm commercial, but I don’t mind because it’s so cheesy and totally wonderful.
- Les Miserables 10th Anniversary – Epilogue… (Or the slightly shorter version – Les Miserables 2012 Finale)
- Bob Marley – Redemption Song – Channon’s suggestion! The lyrics speak for themselves on this one.
- Tank and the Bangas – Quick – Michelle’s suggestion! Why? “Tarriona TANK Ball just exudes FREEDOM to me because she doesn’t fit in any boxes. Her music can’t be contained to a genre. Her fashion defies all the rules. I mean, look at her! She’s herself, she’s free, I’m so here for it.”
- Nina Simone – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free
- Pharrell Williams – Freedom – Another Michelle suggestion! “Full Disclosure: I don’t totally know what this song is about, but it’s fun and it’s called ‘Freedom’ so I thought we should include it…”
- Common & John Legend – Glory
- The New Seekers – Free to Be…You and Me – Yes, it’s technically a kids’ song, but it’s still good!