Until We Are All Free


“…until we are all free.” Those words are illustrated every year in the holiday Juneteenth. Which commemorates not the official 1865 proclamation that all American slaves were freed, but the real date two months later when the last slaves in the southwestern U.S. actually got the message. Even then, some slave owners had to be forced to relinquish their “property.”

And the struggle continued–because official and real are not the same thing. Many years later, in the mid-20th century, Langston Hughes wrote, “I swear to the Lord, I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.”

And now? Juneteenth is a holiday in the truest sense of the word, a “holy day,” a day set apart not just to celebrate, but to soberly reflect on our convoluted legacy. As a nation, we should be proud of advancing freedom with our proclamation that all people are created equal; and penitent about the fact that it took us nearly a century to apply it to all. And even now we continue to struggle to live out what it actually means that “No one is free…

“…until we are all free.”

“He set the North Star in the heavens; He gave me the strength in my limbs; He meant I should be free.” ~Harriet Tubman

“You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” ~Malcolm X

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” ~Coretta Scott King

“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.” ~Frederick Douglass

“If you know whence you came, there is really no limit to where you can go.” ~James Baldwin

“Won’t it be wonderful when Black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.” ~Maya Angelou

“The goal of America is freedom—abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America’s destiny.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” ~Desmond Tutu


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Until We Are All Free

  1. My soul is heavy today with the chains that still bind us all.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”- MLK, Jr. (Also love your Angelou quote above- hadn’t heard that one before! Thank you.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amen! Have a beautiful weekend, Mitch! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tim Harlow says:

    Thank you Mitch! This was a wonderful message.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jon says:

    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 Offer good on Juneteenth, and every other day while one may still draw breath.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michele Lee says:

    A wonderful post. 🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gregoryjoel says:

    Thank you Mitch. We had a glorious day of celebration here in Fort Worth. Ms. Opal’s Walk was live streamed and the celebration was so diverse my hear leapt for joy. Happy Juneteenth. “If a man can be taught to hate then a man can be taught to love”. )Ms. Opal Lee – the “Grandmother of Juneteenthh.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. True freedom is to be found in Christ, regardless of our circumstances. Tragically, many will never recognize that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved the movie “12 Years a Slave,” because in a sense I was, too. It took believing in the Word of God as the Truth (as opposed to my fickle emotions) to make me free from 12 years of addictive behavior. At the end of the movie, when the main character was told he was a free man, as he began to walk away, the man claiming to be his master was pitching a fit, insisting that this was his property. But the “property” kept walking and was free. I got chills watching this, thinking of the person taking God at His Word and walking away from bondage, while the devil is having a tantrum – but can’t do anything about it. (*Glory!*)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pingback: Until We Are All Free – Chilly’s History Podcast

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