As an African American, the Jewish Passover is a very important and symbolic event to me. Even after the Jewish people gained physical freedom from Pharaoh, they still had to strategize, collaborate, and sacrifice through many generations to gain a more dynamic sense of freedom. So to me, freedom is a multi-layered concept that takes a lot of collaboration, creativity and time to achieve.
In America, African Americans also gained freedom from chattel slavery, but then, the civil rights movement created new levels of freedom for both Jewish and African American people. But in hindsight, the civil rights movement was just a continuation of a long freedom movement that still continues today. Today, many Americans are still fighting to gain freedom in the areas of race, religion, gender, economics and health.
Passover has had an even deeper meaning since the pandemic. Reflecting on Passover should give us the renewed energy we need to continue to fight for a deeper sense of freedom and justice. The great Jewish traditions and people who came out of those freedom struggles have blessed the world. We have to keep going onward and upward!
Tiffany Parks is an AJT contributor.