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The Broncos' voice. online resource (None) 198?-2005, March 01, 1996, Image 13

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,97/.'^ Broncos Voicc March 1996 13 A/iya Madzimoyo, column editor Walking For Our Freedom One morning during my usual 3 mile walk around the track, it occurred to me that our people have always walked and marched for our freedom. I decided then that the Fayetteville Walking for Wellness program would launch the “Walking for our Freedom” Walkathon. Still walking, I could see it all: In September five hundred Black women, men, children and elders walking together to celebrate our commitment to continue on our road for free dom, dedicated to keeping ourselves healthy and strong. It was very important to me that our walkathon not consist mainly of “ceremonial” walk ers who come out and walk just for the day. No, 1 saw in dividuals and whole families who had made walking an in tegral part of their lives. I then decided that “when the next skeptic tells me or hints at the notion that Black people won’t walk for our health and well-being,” I will smile and remember that we walked in the rain, cold and scorching heat for over 365 days for miles and miles for our freedom in 1955 in order to break the back of Jim V(/liolisfic Hcaltli Edu-Care M GWS Crow’s segregation. I then de cided that we will do it again, this time for increased health, strength and vitality. I continued thinking fur ther back to the 1800’s, and I saw Harriet Tubman and thou sands of us again walking for freedom by way of the Under ground Railroad. We risked everything - including our lives - to escape our captors who had forced us to labor under gun. And indeed, many of us did make it. We said, “we must have a better way,” and we took off, walking mainly by night, sometimes in the rain and the snow. We walked for our freedom. In the “Walking for our Freedom” program, we walk and tell the stories of our triumphant walks for freedom from Harriet ——i; Tubman to Nelson Mandela. We support each other to continue making the decision to free ourselves from our mental and emotional en slavement. As our ancestors knew, we too know there is a better way. In the “Walking for Wellness” program those of us who walk regularly have re ported good results. We feel better. We eat and sleep bet ter. We have lowered choles terol and blood sugar levels. We have reduced our chances for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer and aids. We get the boost and support we need to continue making liberating choices. Our ancestors didn’t walk for social freedoms so we could die of poor health, drug addiction and hopeless ness. Their spirits remind us that health is not just a blood pressure read ing, a glucose level, but a matter of holis tic well-being. In the “Walking for our Freedom” program we chal- — lenge each other to walk through the conflicts of all areas of our lives, to make healthy choices and to keep on waking down the road of self- love, self-knowledge and self empowerment. We continue to make these steps to freedom for our health and well-being, socially, mentally and physi cally. We started up the Fayetteville “Walking for Wellness” program in October of 1995 with technical assis tance from the National Black Women’s Health Project. De ciding to wallc on a regular basis has been difficult for many of us. Even when we have felt committed to our walking regimens, we have often found ourselves slipping back into notions of “I just don’t have the time.” “I’ve got to do so and so.” “My children need me.” “My house needs cleaning.” “My spouse or empty, we don’t have a whole lot more to give. It is most definitely time to fill our own cups, to rejuvenate, to cherish, nurture and nourish ourselves, and, in turn, each other. It is time that each of us became the most important person in our own lives. Those of us who under stand that you can’t give what It is my belief that those old souls did not risk it all for us to be living so miserably. ... we walked in the rain, cold, and scordiing beat..tD break the back of Jim Crowds segregathn. friend just doesn’t support me in doing this.” I have con cluded that Black women have been depended upon to take care of our families, our par ents, the church and commu nity, and anyone else who needs to be taken care of. Of ten we find ourselves worn out, feeling very enslaved to expectations that are “just too much for any one woman to carry out.” With our cups running you ain’t got, and that neglect ing yourself doesn’t mean that you help others, understand what time it is. It is time that Black sisters drink from a re vitalizing, reenergizing stream, pull on the strength of our mothers and fathers who have walked before us so that we can continue this walk to freedom. In our group right now ap proximately 10 of us have made walking an active part of our lives. We walk at least three to five times per week. Now, we want lo get all of us involved, the whole family walking and talking and stron ger to continue on. Black women. Black men. Black children. Black elders: I invite all of you to join us in walking to keep yourselves strong and motivated; to keep us ever cognizant of our health and well-being. The fight against oppres- sion is a hard one. We live in a hos tile world that re peatedly sends messages that we are worthless, criminal, cheat ers, apathetic, re verse discriminators, etc. We must nurture ourselves to op timal health and well being to insure that we can continue this fight against the ever- pressing hand of oppression. The boycotting, the walk ing, of the Montgomery Bus Boycott began a movement that meant increasing, geo graphical freedoms for all of us. As a result of those walks, •^ve can now go out to any pub lic restaurant, check in to any hotel that we can pay for. It is my belief that those old should did not risk it all for us to be living so miserably. No, not for us to have all these high blood pressures, high blood sugars, cancers and weakened immune systems. Consider the scenario of an individual ex ercising his/her freedoms by voting, attaining a graduate degree, getting a “good job” only to be wracked with stress and strife, never taking time for self, rarely eating nourishing food, never exercising, and having a stroke or heart attack between age 45 and 50. No, our loved ones did not do all that walking and marching for that. Harriet Tubman, Marcus Garvey, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Winnie and Nelson Mandela all worked and walked for our freedom, triumphing over the notion that our place was at the “back of the bus,” in the white man’s shadow. The Fayetteville “Walking for our Freedom” program is inspired by them. Listen to the words of Nelson Mandela: “I have walked that long road to freedom. 1 have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glori ous vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibili ties, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended”. (Nelson Mandela, 1994). We believe we can walk ourselves right into the light of this new freedom for health and vitality and good feelings about ourselves and each other. Join us. The “Walking for our Freedom” program pro vides structured support to individuals who wish to es tablish or maintain a regu lar walking regimen. The program will celebrate its success in September with a Walkathon. We need Lead Walkers to help with the or ganizing and coordinating. Call Afiya today at 630- 1267. Cheer from pg. 3 squad. A letter was sent to the squad members informing them of their suspensions, vaguely describing the condi tions of the suspensions. Since the suspensions were issued without conferring with Cheer-Phi, the squad appealed their case to Interim Chancel lor Dr. Benson to air their grievances. In the end, the sus pensions stood. A new air of hope arose with the arrival of FSU’s new chancellor, Dr. Willis Mcleod. His anthem of “put the stu dent first” offered a fresh and objective perspective to a very painful, tense, and frustrating situation. At their initial meet ing, Dr. McLeod appeared vis ibly shocked by what Cheer- Phi revealed to him. He as signed Special Assistant Mr. James Scurry to investigate the matter. The end result of the “investigation” was to re move three suspensions and to uphold all other suspensions. This left six cheerleaders see "Cheer, ” pg. 14

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