They Weren't Always Free

February 4, 2008
By Kody Boye, Shelley, ID

They weren’t always free. At one time they had been shackled together in the chains of false condemnation; forced to work in fields, forced to bow to the force of a whip, forced to swear their lives away to a man that was free. They were no better than animals in the eyes of those with the pale skin. One was dark, one was white; two opposite sides with no gray to divide them in some kind of equal matter.

There were times when those with white were fortunate enough to let them go, whether it be of their own choice or from the legal, written fate of a man’s last words. This fate called freedom--to those with the dark skin--was few, barely heard of, but it could come true. This was a beautiful fate that any condemned--slave--could wish for. This was the kind of fate that a man or woman could dream of, and this was the kind of fate that would set them free.

But what were they to do when they were free? What were they to do when the chains were gone, unshackled, unbolted from hell’s unholy cross? Would they just stand in the rain, enjoying it the way a free person would? or would they run; run to a place where freedom was endless, where everybody and everything was accepting? They could continue to work in fields, but without having to worry about the horrible crack of whips or the fiery pain of wax, or they could work in factories by spinning cotton into fantastic pieces of cloth; they could do anything they wanted.

No one would ever look upon them in the same style that they looked upon others though. Those with the light skin looked on each other in pride, but they looked at the darker ones as though they were lesser. They looked upon them as if they were still in chains, as if they were animals, anomalous to nature as a freak occurrence.

It would never change though.

Once something is done, it can never be undone.

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