The Cost Of My Freedom

by Gregory Battle

The cost of my freedom has never been an extended credit line given by J.P. Morgan and Chase, or a life-long donation from the Gates Foundation into a personal PayPal account, or a trust-fund established in perpetuity by Edward A. Jones, or a low-interest loan granted by name-only from the Bank of America; instead the cost of my freedom was earned in the gut-curdling screams of unruly slaves pinioned within chains often tethered to skin-scraped poles or hemorrhaging bark while being whipped by brutal overseers into sadistic humiliation; the cost of my freedom was the finance of fettered field hands who baked often in 100-degree sunshine; who sweated out then fainted carrying endless loads of corn and cotton; who moaned with rotten gums and teeth broken under the yokes of vile hegemony across Southern clay; the cost of my freedom was the bounty of defiant dark-hued spirits branded in malevolence by insatiable masters who ignored their shredded tongues and muted voices crying for mercy; the cost of my freedom is unmarked Mississippi mounds whose berth of unclaimed warrior bones still rock the ground in tribal chords cluttering in the magma of revolution; the cost of my freedom has become the faint ledgers of great great aunts and uncles who dared to read; who shared star-lit dreams beneath leaky tin-roofs; who ran North and shivered in Artic glaciers; who soaked in fire hoses and marched relentless miles on calloused feet for equality; who drank from fountains that were colored in a despairing geography of racist mountains; the cost of my freedom was forged in the undaunted transactions of Parks, Shuttlesworth, Evers, Till, Carmichael and King ---- who flustered, who encouraged, who endured, who envisioned that beyond the barks of hounds and behemoth swamps, a shining land of liberty would assuage them, ever rightfully blemish them in Almighty Hope; the cost of my freedom is a haunting, historic bridge of skeletal ivory strewn across the Atlantic launched in munity from the bows of traders ships; the cost of my freedom has been the bounty of rhetoric and booming rocketry from Douglass, Baldwin, Malcom, Newton , Brown, Turner and Mays; the cost of my freedom is a tendered Torch that only Truth can set ablaze; the cost of my freedom is a currency of bold caprice, promise, old wounds, scars and inexorable triumph that can never be phrased!

The Cost Of My Freedom by Gregory Battle

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