Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed – 8:36
I’s in chains fo tryin’ to run away. I’s a human being. I shoulda bin free not nobody’s slave. Dey treats us worst than dem animals. When dey brought us here to this here plantation, dey had chains round our necks like we’s cattle. And dey brand us like we cattle too. I’s a man not an animal. I was created by God like everybody else. He don’t love me less ’cause I’s black. He made me so.
‘Cause, we’s slaves we ain’t allowed to go to church or pray. I’s bin flogged for prayin’, singin’ and goin’ to religious meetin’s in dem slave cabins. I refuse to stop worshippin’ God. Sometimes, me and da other slaves, we sings and prays all night. I loves to sing ‘bout the Lord Jesus. He died fo’ me and dem other slaves. He died fo’ everybody. Before, dey put Him on dat cross, dey whip Him bad. My whippin’s ain’t nothin’ compared to the whippin’s He got ’cause of me and everybody who He died fo.
One day, I’s gon be free. One day, I’s gon see ma Lord Jesus. Either slavery’s goin’ end soon or I gon die befo’. One day, I’s gon have freedom.
Oh freedom! O freedom!
Oh freedom over me!
An’ befo’ I’d be a slave,
I’ll be buried in my grave,
An’ go home to my Lord an’ be free.
One day, I’s gon be free to sing to my Lord and not git flogged for it. One day, I’s gon break free of dem chains and git ma crown. Oh freedom.
The negro spirituals as they were called were what helped the slaves during those times fraught with deep despair and disappointment. Their faith in God whom they saw as their Deliverer and Jesus Christ, who died for them kept them going strong. “They believed and affirmed in song that they were valued in the eyes of God and that one day they too would experience deliverance from their bondage.” Those who died as slaves still found their freedom in Jesus Christ.
Let’s celebrate and reflect on the lives of these spiritual men and women “saw themselves as full “children of God” despite their condition of slavery and despite slave owners’ teachings.”