Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country

By Esther Cooper Jackson; Constance Pohl | Go to book overview

Introduction

ESTHER COOPER JACKSON

The editorial in the very first issue of Freedomways, spring 1961, stated the purpose and goals of the collective of people who had founded Freedomways. We noted in part:

Ours was always a multi-racial and multi-social land. There were, first, the Indians whom the newcomers did not wholly succeed in annihilating, then African slaves were brought. And the people who built the nation were drawn from many lands and backgrounds. The United States itself was born out of revolution and change. Founders of this country gave to the world the pronouncement which has served as a spark plug for every revolution which took place in the 19th and 20th century.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

A Civil War was fought and Amendments added to the Constitution with inconclusive results. In our own time decisions of the Supreme Court are flaunted and held in contempt.

Now, we come to a national crossroad. Which way will we go? All who are deeply concerned know that this is a time for much serious thought, for careful balancing of ways and means. There is need for much discussion on every level.

FREEDOMWAYS is born of the necessity for a vehicle of communication which will mirror developments in the diversified and many-sided struggles of the Negro people. It will provide a public forum for the review, examination, and debate of all problems confronting Negroes in the United States.

-xix-

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