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

Esri, and the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions Partner to Launch Survey on Policing Budgets Across Country

Washington, DC – On February 25, 2021 at 10:00 am ET, the Racial Equity Anchor Institutions and Esri will host a virtual press briefing on the launch of a new initiative to survey and track policing budgets in targeted areas around the nation. The new initiative is an effort to aid communities on their journey to better engage with and potentially reimagine what public safety looks like, neighborhood by neighborhood. Interested media can register to attend by visiting https://naacpheadquarters.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eMlWidmDQgeG1qKqHWkdDg. 2020 and 2021 presented highs and lows across the country. It has been exhausting for our nation, communities, and…

Read More
20 Ways Black People Made History in 2020

By Brittney Johnson, Communications Intern As we celebrate another Black History Month, we reflect on the milestones and accomplishments of Black Americans. From the ringing bells of Emancipation to the Civil Rights Movement, to the election of the first Black president, we continue to make history and move mountains despite the odds against us. For starters, 2020 was a tough year. Not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also because of the multiple lives we lost to police brutality, social injustice and racial inequality. BUT, 2020 also brought many historic moments for the Black community as we pushed for…

Read More
Police Brutality in Rochester Proves that Police ‘Reform’ is a Myth

By Thomas B. Harvey, Justice Project Program Director Nothing short of police abolition will end the continued abuses of a system of policing designed to systematically oppress Black people and maintain a white supremacist status quo. Credit: Life Matters Last month, police in Rochester, New York pepper sprayed, manhandled, handcuffed and arrested a nine-year-old Black girl in obvious mental health crisis. This horrifying violence triggered a familiar and morbid routine: news coverage of this police brutality was met with strongly worded condemnations from political leaders, whose calls to reform policing were centered in the conversation; meanwhile…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement in Support of the 2021 DREAM Act

Advancement Project National Office applauds the re-introduction of the DREAM Act by bi-partisan members of the U.S. Senate. The DREAM Act would provide permanent protections for over two million immigrant youth and current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The introduction of this bill is a testament to the power of immigrant youth and allies who have consistently pushed for meaningful legislation that protects our communities from criminalization. And although a step in the right direction, the introduction alone is simply not enough. There must be a specific roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the…

Read More
National organizations pen letter to Montgomery County Council, Board of Education in support of removing police from schools

Following recent police assaults of young people in Florida and New York, the call for #PoliceFreeSchools in Montgomery County is emphatic

Read More
National organizations, global law firm partner to take steps toward securing quality education for students of color

Legal action taken in U.S. Court of Appeals works to ensure that students of color receive a meaningful, quality education that allows them to thrive

Read More
STATEMENT: Osceola Sheriff’s deputy viciously assaults student, underscoring urgency in call for #PoliceFreeSchools

After a year of #PoliceFreeSchools wins in cities nationwide, Advancement Project National Office and Alliance for Educational Justice respond to recent #AssaultAtLiberty

Read More
Advancement Project National Office Issues Statement on President Biden’s Executive Orders Addressing Racial Equity

“We acknowledge and commend the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to make racial equality a legislative priority and center piece to their agenda."

Read More
Leading Civil Rights Groups Call on President Biden to Create White House Racial Equity and Inclusion Office

CONTACT Jessica Sarstedt Email: [email protected] WASHINGTON, DC—In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, historic racial justice protests, and unprecedented commitment by the executive office to confront systemic racism, the Racial Equity Anchor Collaborative—the foremost diverse coalition of national racial justice and civil rights organizations representing and serving more than 53 million people in the U.S.—is pushing for racial equity to be at the forefront of government operations, policies and practices. The coalition calls on President Joe Biden to establish a White House Office on Racial Equity and Inclusion to coordinate the full range of federal agency…

Read More
Advancement Project National Office’s Statement on the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris as the President & Vice President of the United States

“The inauguration of Kamala Harris as the nation’s first Black and South Asian Vice President is the result of the tireless work of Black women."

Read More