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Desirous of Her Liberty at This Time by Rhonda M. Ward

Desirous of Her Liberty at This Time

by Rhonda M. Ward


Nancy Freeman

1771–1853

Baptized 1819, Excommunicated 1830

“ ... her life became increasingly troubled with alcohol.”


Was there ever a time when an enslaved woman or man

was not “desirous” of their freedom? Was the day before

these words were written or the years before that

a less “desirous” time? I carry the name of freedom

but not the fact of it.


My legacy was bondage.

The legacy of my children is bondage.

How then do I reconcile this life?


My condition has built in me an anger that scratches

like a prickly branch every second of every day.

It has made me as unruly as forsythia

and equally as uncaring about my unruliness.


Hope is my only motivation.

I put no faith in the god they try to force upon me.

I commit my faith to chance, to the possibility of liberty.

Not for me, but for my progeny.


Photo: Thornhill Plantation, Alabama




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