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AM I FREE

AM I FREE

On July 26, 2017 we celebrated the twenty-seventh anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA]. On July 2, 1964 the Civil Rights act was signed into law by president Johnson. I was born July 24, 1957. I culturally identify as a person with a Disability whom happens to be Black.

AM I FREE BECAUSE SOMEONE SIGNED A PIECE OF PAPER?

AM I FREE BECAUSE WE ARE ALL “BORN FREE”?

EXACTLY WHAT AM I FREE FROM?

Am I free from the mental anguish and emotional trauma heaped upon me from the day I was released and taken home from the hospital at age 4. Am I free from the scourge of sexual abuse thrust upon me as a child. Am I free from the verbal threats of bodily harm from those whom may believe I am defenseless against their attack. Am I free from the systemic discrimination and perpetuation by powerful institutions in education, law, employment, justice, health care, and daily existence?

Am I free to move throughout this place we call “The United States of America” without being deemed “one bad dude” or “a pretty big Black guy”.

Am I free if my fellow Black Athlete’s are referred to as “Son’s of Bitches” by the President of these United States of America?

Am I free if people in my culture are referred to as “special needs”?

Am I free, if medical providers try to treat my diagnosis, but not me?

Am I free to cross every threshold with my entire being intact and fully present?

Am I free to just be? Am I free to just be me?

Kenneth Brown is a disability advocate/consultant and business owner. He welcomes reader response to ablenotdisabled@aol.com