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 firstname.lastname@example.org