A Story Of Freedom

Some call it a sport. Some call it a job. Some call it an art form. Some call it therapy. And some, well some call it an escape. I myself fall into the latter.

There's just something about dribbling a basketball on a court with no one else around and hoping the jump shot you've been working on since forever is good enough to start a game of 21 if anybody ever gets there. But I never rush the arrival. I'd rather play alone. For it helps me think. It helps me process. It helps me breath.

In the inner city, if you have a little game it can take you a long ways from the problems of yesterday's tomorrow. With oppression, corruption, industrialization, the crippling financial market and subpar living conditions on the forefront of issues to deal with, most people wouldn't think a ball can save you from all that. It may only last for an hour or two if you're good and the court's not packed but mentally anywhere is better than where the world would have you call home some days.

Its very easy to fall victim to the obstacles that brothers such as myself face in this county but it's even easier to make a lay up. When people see black men rejoice over the sight of a basketball it's not because we're wild athletic animals like the majority of influence in the media would perceive. It's because of the good memories we have playing alongside friends and family that are no longer with us. It's because of the feeling of being able to fly in a world that wants to clip your wings. It's because when you're on that court, that's one of the few places where you can feel free.

That's what Eldridge, Bobby, Huey and all my other forefathers wanted. That's what they fought for. That's what they died for. Freedom. Freedom in a Western world that would rather them not be. I carry their fight and legacy with me everyday in everything I do because the war's not over. We have a long way to go.

As I so tiredly read the headlines and see another one of my brothers and sisters murdered everyday, you can understand why I seek an escape. An escape from the death. An escape from the pain. An escape from the anger. An escape from the sorrow. You can call it a game if you want but I like to call it a thing I love.


Posted on October 8, 2015 and filed under Words.