Freedom Project - Define Freedom

March 01, 2022

A project directed by Rico Davis during Black History Month gathering VEGies who identify as Black POC. The respondents in this video define freedom in their own words.

Video Transcript

Speaker: Avery Alston, Sen. Manager, Culture Camp - VQ

In your own words, define freedom.

AJ Gibson: Where we as in Black Americans, African Americans can get to a point where we can do anything, create anything, accomplish any goal that we have and it not be labeled Black excellence. And I say that because when we do these things and it's being labeled Black excellence, it's still reaffirming the fact that we are not free, that we have to still create our own space for us. We can't just be excellent. We can't just be great. We have, it has to be black excellence or black greatness or look at what they are doing for their race. So it's still isolating us from the human race. So hopefully we can get to a point where anything I do I can... I'm just great. It doesn't have to be black excellence to define that my race is great because I know that.

Imani Preyor: Freedom to me means having the ability to be who I am, do what I love, in spite of any and every force or entity that's trying to prevent me from doing that. I think the mere fact that I get to work in this field where collectively less than 10% of my colleagues are minorities specifically Black Americans. I think that's huge. I think representation matters kids that come into the hospital and see me as a veterinary nurse. I'm super proud that they get to see me doing that. Especially kids of color. I grew up in an era and an environment where vet medicine wasn't widely known. My own childhood dog never saw that because just the access to the resources and knowledge is not present in some areas. My passion is huge when it comes to spreading awareness and increasing the access to veterinary medicine and knowledge especially amongst minority youth. So, super important for me that I get to do this. And also that kids get to see us do this as well. So they know that they can also do this or be this if that's what they want to do.

Avery Alston: Defining freedom in my own words... It's an ideal. Sad to say, but being black in America has never equaled freedom. We've never fully experienced that. So when I think about freedom, I think about being able to be comfortable in my own black skin wherever I go, Not having to worry about whether I can wear my hair a certain way to work, whether I can speak in full ebonics and not be judged because it's not proper english. Can I even listen to the music that I like in a public setting? Can I trust that if I check the box saying that I'm African American on an application that I'll still get the interview? Can my black brothers walk down the street with a hoodie and not fear for their life or their so called freedom? Can my parents put our house on the market without having to take our family photos down just to get an offer? So when you asked me about freedom, I think it's a day where we won't have to be asked this question because we'll be living it.

Produced with Vocal Video