Sweet Release: The Last Step to Black Freedom
African-Americans have come a long way in the difficult upward struggle from slavery to the relatively broad freedoms enjoyed today. Together as a potent and well-knit group, they have battled endlessly in their march toward freedom.
Having attained physical and political freedom, the time has come for African-Americans to take the last step to total freedom against African-american struggles. And that last step is psychological freedom. But, in contrast to our past achievements, that last step must be taken as individuals and not as a collective.
In his assessment of the problems and potentials facing African-Americans, Dr. Davison argues that in order for achieving individuals to advance to the final step of freedom, they must break free from the mental shackles created by the African-American community. That is, they must break free from African-American persons, African-American myths, and African-American traditions that impede their personal progress.
The forces that impinge most upon psychological freedom for African-Americans come from within the community and within our psyches.
Guilt for being successful, shame in reaction to the misbehaviors of race peers, demands to give back to the community, and accusations of trying to be white are just a few of the mechanisms that thwart psychological freedom for African-American individuals.
Dr. Davison argues that individual lifestyles, aspirations, and even identities are constrained by the specter of racial unity for African-Americans. As a result, for African-Americans who are advancing, what remains to be overcome is not “the system” or “them”, but internalized community attitudes that put a choke hold on individual freedom.