Taking Me Back and Forward


“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week, I have the privilege of being a Mentor at the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Orientation and Training for New Executive Directors. These new executive directors are preparing to implement a CDF Freedom Schools Summer Camp within their organizations this summer. I’m considered a veteran having been an executive director of a Freedom School site for six years!


The training takes place at the historic CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee. Haley Farm was previously owned by Alex Haley, author of the book “Roots”. I cherish my times at Haley Farm. Every building on this 150 acre site has been carefully restored, renovated, and decorated to invoke the history of African-Americans and the Civil Rights Movement.


I am reminded of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and of my father. No matter how matter how many times I have visited, I am overwhelmed by emotion. In many ways, it is a pilgrimage for me, restoring me spiritually and emotionally.


The many images, art, music, books, food, films, and stories take me back into my memory. My memories become fresh again. Some of these memories ask me questions: What have you done with your life? What will you do with your life?

I will be pondering these questions as I walk the pathways at the farm.

Do you have a place to go for spiritual and emotional renewal?

(photo credits:  Linda Freeman, CDF Haley Farm, February 2016.)

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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What People Are Saying

  • Wow, great history and legacy. I could see how visiting would emotionally and spiritually charged. Ps Linda, so glad you have had the opportunity to witness how it has evolved.

    • Anna: Me too!

  • What a gift to have such a place, Linda! I am not sure I do (which may answer the question!). Ironically — it’s one of the world’s busiest and some would argue, grittiest, places that I feel most connected – NYC. Explaining why would probably require more words than I could muster! 🙂

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