Posts Tagged ‘Freedom

03
Mar
18

“I can set myself free through imagination …”

A great premise of Alice Walker’s monumental work, The Color Purple, was the idea that Celie could become herself and validate her being, by writing letters to God. The notion that through an active imaginative process one can free oneself from the burdens of extraordinary pain and suffering remains a last bastion of self-actualization for many in a variety of settings and experiences. One need only glimpse at the news to see the sorts of terrors people live through–and the brilliance of their resilience.

While most of us do not live in the kind of tortured existence that Celie’s character experienced, we nonetheless tie ourselves up in the knots that bind us emotionally and physically to lesser or greater degrees. Some are historical, some are actual, some are derived from neurotic fantasy, but no less real or psychically draining.

In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the actor Winston Duke who played the role of M’Bako, the leader of the Wakanda mountain tribe, the Jabari, in Marvel’s film, Black Panther, spoke to just such an idea. Speaking about the questions raised by the notion of an African country unfettered by Colonialism, and having come from Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean, Duke tried to express the difficulty in attempting to consider life without the legacy of Colonialism. In thinking about it he said the film had been important to him because he realized that he actually did have power.

“I can set myself free through imagination,” he said.

And there it was, the concept that thinking a thing, that working through the problem that imprisons oneself can lead to a kind of freedom that not only will be for oneself, but as a legacy and roadmap for others to follow.

Down in the real world of living a life, working, teasing through the relationships of family and friends, and keeping oneself afloat for all those hours of the day–I am particularly affected by the idea that in willing something, staking the claim against whatever the odds are, one can free oneself. More to the point, that action resonates, because as one frees oneself, those around us see and experience that freedom. And as each of us works through the experiences that hamstring us, whether experienced yesterday or as a legacy across multiple generations, we do have within us the power to release ourselves from those things that hamper us so greatly.

At least I’d like to believe that, and as Winston Duke so elegantly put it, “I can set myself free through imagination.”

 

 

29
Jan
11

True Courage #Egypt

True Courage #Egypt

Defying the curfew in Cairo, Egypt, January 29, 2011

Boxers know a thing or two about courage.  Walking into the ring to risk injury or worse is never an easy thing.  Yet boxers also train long and hard to mitigate the risks of the ring in their favor.


The hundreds of thousands of people who have taken to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, however, have not trained themselves for battle. Yet, they have risen on mass, young and old, men and women, professional and worker, student and pensioner to demand an end to over thirty years of oppressive rule.

This is one of those extraordinary moments —  such as the fall of the Berlin Wall when we must all stand as one to support the courageous people of such places as Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen in their bid for democratic freedom.  We must let them know that they are not alone — and that we honor and cherish true courage where we find it.

Information and live video can be found here, here and here.

To tweet encouragement add the following to your message #egypt, #jan25, #jan26, #cairo or #alexandria

We should all help to shine the light on a very dark night of oppression.




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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