Free Your Mind, Man! Free Your Mind! - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Free Your Mind, Man! Free Your Mind!

On honoring your ancestors by doing what they did for centuries-being bold and courageous enough to have a stubborn belief.

February 12, 2018

by Robb King

I reached a quarter-century of life this past November, experiencing 25 full rotations around the Sun; 9,132 planetary spins of the Earth’s axis; and 219,168 hours of time breathing-and yes, I accounted for leap years. See, some folks see life as being short, like a fleeting shadow; but for some reason, life seems quite long to me-long enough to create, assess and reinvent one’s self over and over again. And as my 24th year of life set, my assessment of what I had created illuminated before my eyes.

In that time of living, I noticed I still lacked a quality understanding of the term liberation. For the majority of my life, I thought liberation was a seat at the table and I spent much of my time striving for that seat. In my naiveté, I failed to realize that changing who sits at the table only changes the people at the table, not the table itself-which started to feel like a problem. I thought success would bring me liberation. Yet, I slowly came to realize that my definition of success was never really mine but one given to me by those who “knew better”. Ain’t that something? I was out here chasing things I didn’t even want and in the process, negotiating pieces of myself to get it.

Now, I know for many people 25 ain’t a long time; but for me, it was enough time to realize that liberation was something I had to define on my own terms. You see, I had spent so much time seeking a distorted view of physical liberation that I had neglected the liberation of my own mind. For as the mind thinks, so the body commits to action; and my actions were preceding anything my mind had established. Liberation, for me, has to start from within now; it must be born internally from a stubborn belief in one’s self and the life one deserves to live. A true, sustainable concept of liberation cannot be born out of physical accomplishments, accolades or seats earned; nor from the beliefs and definitions of others-for it can only be sustained by one’s own stubborn belief.

So to celebrate this 25th year of life, I decided to dedicate an entire year to doing just that-liberating my damn mind by doing things that force me to create a stubborn belief in myself. Things that force me to see myself for who I am and to embrace it without apology. And isn’t that the best way to celebrate not just Black History Month but Black history? Honoring your ancestors by doing what they did for centuries-being bold and courageous enough to have a stubborn belief. So, as the beautiful, Black sirens of Black history (aka EnVogue) once sang, “Free your MIND and the rest will follow!” That’s what I’m doing.

Peace.

KEEP READING

Tools to create #PoliceFreeSchools

We Came to Learn report and action kit

Read More
We Came to Learn: A Call to Action for Police-Free Schools

Safety does not exist when Black & Brown young people are forced to interact with a system of policing that views them as a threat and not as students.

Read More
Webinar Series: How to Protect the Vote in 2018

Webinar series highlighting the election laws and regulations of five states.

Read More
#TakeAKnee: Supporting the Protests of Professional Athletes

Supporting athletes that advocate for change to our country’s unjust policing practices.

Read More
Advancement Project mourns the loss of long-time Board member, Attorney Sheila Thomas

Sheila Thomas was a staunch civil rights advocate who refused to sit on the sidelines.

Read More
Advancement Project Statement: The Ouster of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch Who Failed to Charge Officer for Murder of Mike Brown

After a 27-year bout, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch – the prosecutor who failed to charge Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown, Jr. four years ago this week – was defeated in the St. Louis prosecutorial election. McCulloch has a long history of defending police violence and was responsible for the attack on front line protesters during the Ferguson Uprising following the death of 18-year-old Brown. McCulloch targeted Ferguson protestor Josh Williams, who is enduring an eight-year prison sentence, as well as Brittany Ferrel and Alexis Templeton, who suffered a year-long prosecution. On…

Read More
50 Years After the First Memo Leak of the FBI’s Cointelpro, the Question Stands: Are We Free?

50 years later, the Black Lives Matter movement represents a similar threat to the FBI.

Read More
From Chains to Change

Race and the Right to Vote in the Nation's Incarceration Capital (Live From Netroots Nation 2018)

Read More
Reflections on a President, a Ban, and a Country’s Racial Past

Muslim identity in America has taken on a largely foreign connotation, bearing the mark of many off-white groups who are both American and yet never-quite. 

Read More
Banning Muslims is Wrong; Ruling Leaves Door Open for Increased Bigotry and Intolerance

The Supreme Court has endorsed fear mongering and racism.

Read More