Nhu Nguyen Nguyen 1

Mrs. Kitt

Eng 1H/Per.4

29 November 2016

The Struggle for Freedom 

​ “Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is

never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social,

economic, political and religious relationship.” — by A. Philip Randolph. To make known, the

fight for freedom has been going on for some time, in not just America, but the rest of the world

as well. However, it has been increasing in recent years, with people making campaigns to speak

up for their freedoms. Moreover, in the speech “I Have a Dream” by Martin L. King Jr.,

“Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington” historical

writing by Charles Euchner, and Azar Nafisi’s memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran", the authors

expressed their different stances regarding the struggle for freedom in his or her society. ​In truth,

one can say that freedom is never given for free, but must be fought for in this fractured society.

This is because although we have laws that protect individuals’ freedom rights, it is not exactly

being carried out as of now, people do not treat each other equally, and that difference in genders

set people apart.

To start with, even though we have made laws to defend people’s rights of their freedoms,

it is still not taken seriously by some. For example, in ​“I Have a Dream” by Martin L. King Jr.,

he talked about how “American...signed the Emancipation Proclamation...hope to millions of
Negro slaves who had been seared in...injustice...one hundred years later, the life of the Negro is

still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination”(King 48).

This is saying how in the beginning, America had set up laws to help guard people’s freedoms,

nothing changed. This means that there are still people who are denied access to their full

freedom rights by other people in this society. This matters because it proves how some people

are still being mistreated even after freedom laws were made, so they have to fight to get their

rightful freedom. In a similar context, King also stated, “America has given the Negro people a

bad check...marked “insufficient funds”...we’ve come to cash this check…will give us upon

demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice”(King 48, 49). King is expressing what

other African Americans wanted to say, which is how America had granted them a law that in

truth, did nothing to protect their freedom rights, so they must demand for that freedom instead.

This shows that since such laws were made but did not help toward giving the people their much

demanded freedom rights, it is completely useless. This is important because it shows that while

laws were made to help protect the people’s freedom, they have to take it to their own hands to

stand up and demand for justice. To sum it up, laws made to defend the people’s freedom rights

did nothing but is really just a statement on a sheet of paper, so people must speak up for

themselves if they want to establish their freedom.

Furthermore, the people of this society simply do not respect and treat each other as

equals. This is shown in the historical writing ​“Nobody Turn Me Around: A People’s History of

the 1963 March on Washington” by Charles Euchner, when he says how King’s words

“emphasizes...black's position in American life. ​Not free. Crippled. Manacles...Lonely island of

poverty. Languished in the corners. Exile in his own country”​(Euchner 56). Euchner was saying
how King’s words shed light on the reality of African Americans’ lives. This demonstrates that

instead of having the usual American life that many dominant races have, the blacks were forced

to live a life full of injustice and misery due to being cast in the corners of this society. This is

very impacting because it demonstrates that African Americans and many other minority races

were treated as outcasts, as strangers, in their ​own​ house, known as America. Also, Euchner went

on to tell Harold Bragg’s story, “his grandfather—one of the few black landowners in

Alabama—sitting on a horse, getting shot by a white farmer who was jealous that a colored man

could command such an expanse”(Euchner 62). Euchner wanted to say that the black man was

killed by a white man because he was thought to be capable of obtaining everything a white man

has. He meant that the blacks were able to secure their freedoms, but had whites take their

freedom away, the freedom to do whatever they want and to ​live​. This is important because it

shows how different races do not have the ability to look at each other without thinking they are

different. From this one can concludes that the people in this society are missing the big picture;

they do not realize that they belong together as one human race; because of that, they treat each

other differently and this must be changed.

Consequently, Azar Nafisi’s memoir ​“Reading Lolita in Tehran" emphasized that genders

created a rift between people in this society​. She tells a story of a girl named Sanaz, how

“she...puts on her black robe and scarf over her orange shirt and jeans, coiling her scarf around

her neck to cover her huge gold earrings. She directs wayward strands of hair under the

scarf…put on thin lacy black loves to hide her nail polish”(Nafisi 82). She was saying that in

order to comply with the laws in her country, Sanaz hid her true self. This means that there are

some people like Sanaz who tried to express their individuality under their standard clothes. This
is significant because it shows how people tried to fight for their freedom, even if they have to

express it in secret. Similarly, Nafisi said “the regime that ruled them had tried to make their

personal identities and histories irrelevant. They were never free of the regime’s definition of

them as Muslim women”(Nafisi 83). Nafisi was trying to express her thoughts, saying the people

who ruled them did not care for their people, especially women. From this, one can understand

that women were mistreated and had their freedom taken away by their government. This can

affect the situation because in reality, men and women are no different from each other, they

both belong to one human race, so women deserves as much respect and be given the same rights

that men have. To put it simply, many people were fighting a silent battle to obtain their freedom


Despite this, there are some people who argued that the individuals born in the United

States are automatically given their freedoms. As everyone knows, the U.S. is a place where one

can freely express themselves. However, that is not always the case. Many people of different

races, often minorities, were being mistreated and not given their freedom rights fully, so in

order to obtain it, they have to stand up for themselves. In essence, it has become clear that

freedom is not granted easily, but is something that people have to fight to get. The reasons are

that even though laws were created to protect the people’s freedom, it was not really being put

into effect, people were not viewing each other as equal individuals, and sociological differences,

especially gender-based, is preventing people from belonging together as one. Through the

readings of Martin L. King Jr.’s speech “I Have a Dream”, Charles Euchner’s ​“Nobody Turn Me

Around: A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington”, and memoir “Reading Lolita in

Tehran” by Azar Nafisi, one can have a grasp on these authors’ various ways of addressing the
struggle for freedom.​ The people of this society must take this matter upon themselves and take

action. Let's come together and fight for our freedom!
Work Cited

King, Martin Luther, Jr. ​I Have a Dream​. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Print.

Euchner, Charles. ​From Nobody Turn Me Around: A People's History of the 1963 March on

Washington​. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Print.

Nafisi, Azar. ​From Reading Lolita in Tehran​. Orlando: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. Print.

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