America is often called the “Land of the Free” We hear this phrase almost from the time we’re born, in our anthems and our sacred constitutional documents.
This weekend, I came across two news items that caused me to ask: “What is the cost of freedom?”
First, as most of you know, Lauryn Hill announced her return to music with a new deal with Sony in the midst of legal troubles stemming from tax evasion charges.
In an open letter to her fans, she said:
“I’ve been fighting for existential and economic freedom, the freedom to create and live without someone threatening, controlling, and/or manipulating the art and the artist, by tying the purse strings.”
Think about that for a minute. The woman who took the world by storm and earned great fame and fortune ―what others would surely regard as ‘The American Dream’― is basically saying she felt enslaved by her success and by the government.
Hill is not the only one, think Dave Chapelle, who walked away from $50 million, think about that controversial book on black athletes entitled 40 Million Dollar Slaves.
Okay, the second news item was an article from CNN called, “Is Big Brother coming to your job?”
In it, contributor Bob Greene discusses how software developed to allow college professors to monitor students’ work will likely be adapted to the U.S. workplace to allow bosses to monitor workers online.
Greene describes such software as a tool “corporations everywhere have been waiting for… a way to stand over the shoulder of every employee, 24 hours a day, and keep track of exactly how much time he or she is really spending on his or her work.”
This goes beyond just when you log in or log out of your workstation. This software tracks page views, time spent on a document, notes taken, bookmarks used, and whether or not you even opened a document at work or at home.
All of this makes me wonder, here in the Land of the Free, how free our freedom actually is.
Yes, Lauryn Hill certainly owes back taxes, but what does it say about our society that she may lose her physical freedom because of her artistic desire to be free?
Why does David Chapelle feel so much more free without an extra $50 million? And why do we have to pursue our own American Dream in a monitored corporate environment where we are constantly reminded how un-free we really are…?
So, my question today is this: Would you accept a million dollars if it locked you into a situation where you felt unhappy, trapped and unable to express yourself freely?
I’ll leave you with this from writer William Faulkner… he says:
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
29 photos Launch gallery
1. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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2. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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3. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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4. Jus haaaanngin out
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5. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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6. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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7. new new
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8. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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9. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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10. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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12. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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13. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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14. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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15. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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16. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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17. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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18. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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19. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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21. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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22. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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23. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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24. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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25. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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26. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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27. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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28. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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29. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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