Freedom and Sin

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“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.”

-The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

You Know How I Feel

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Feeling Good

“Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River runnin’ free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day,
it’s a new life for me,
And I’m feelin’ good”

“Stars when you shine, you know how I feel
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel
Yeah, freedom is mine, and I know how I feel..
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me”

I Put A Spell on You by Nina Simone

Show Way Quilts and Family History

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February is African American History Month!

“Slaves whispered what no one was allowed to say: That Mathis know how to make…a Show Way. Came to her when they needed to talk; came to her for the stories of brave people; came to her for the patch pieces just before they disappeared into the night.”

Show Way, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott

Feeling Freedom

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Something is growing in me, something that can’t be stopped, a plant that winds its way up my spine, seeking breath and light and power. When I pull into the McDonald’s again for a cup of coffee, I feel the beginnings of freedom.”

Voice Lessons, Voice Lessons: Tales of Breaking Free; by Catherine Holm

Trafficking Victims Are Your Equals

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January is Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

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Letter To A John

“I want you to pay me for my beauty
I think it’s only right
‘Cause I have been paying for it
All of my life”

“We barely have time to react in this world
Let alone rehearse
And I don’t think I’m better than you
But I don’t think that I’m worse
Women learn to be women
And men learn to be men
And I don’t blame it all on you
But I don’t want to be your friend”

Out of Range by Ani DiFranco

Additional resources for Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month:

 

James Madison and Benevolent Assimilation

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November is Native American Heritage month. The following is one of a series of historic Presidential quotes on Native American rights and the political relations between the United States government and the first nations of this continent.

Fair warning: Most of these statements are not nice and, at times, can be difficult to read. They also make excellent starting points for a research paper.

The following is the list of objectives James Madison gives for his time in office – note the contrast.

JAMES MADISON FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 1809

Indulging no passions which trespass on the rights or the repose of other nations, it has been the true glory of the United States to cultivate peace by observing justice, and to entitle themselves to the respect of the nations at war by fulfilling their neutral obligations with the most scrupulous impartiality. If there be candor in the world, the truth of these assertions will not be questioned; posterity at least will do justice to them.”

To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality toward belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences…”

“…to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves and too elevated not to look down upon them in others…”

“…debts; to keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics—that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe…”

“…to carry on the benevolent plans which have been so meritoriously applied to the conversion of our aboriginal neighbors from the degradation and wretchedness of savage life to a participation of the improvements of which the human mind and manners are susceptible in a civilized state….”

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.

Freedom to Blindly Follow

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We all made a conscious choice and because that choice carried such a high price, I don’t think anyone ever wanted to make another one again. We relinquished our freedom that day, and we were more than happy to see it go. From that moment on we lived in true freedom, the freedom to point to someone else and say “They told me to do it! It’s their fault, not mine.” The freedom, God help us, to say “I was only following orders.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

September 21 is International Day of Peace

Women Justice and Freedom

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“We are united in a common cause for freedom and justice.”

“Democracy, justice, and peace demand the full and equal participation of women. Justice is a long-term undertaking.”

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson

 

 

Protect Rights or Lose Liberties

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JAMES MONROE FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 1817

We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties. A people who fail to do it can scarcely be said to hold a place among independent nations. National honor is national property of the highest value. The sentiment in the mind of every citizen is national strength.

United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches by United States. Presidents.