Dreaming To Get Free

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world.”

— Harriet Tubman

African psychology of dream interpretation deals with the duality of dreams as realizations of conscious yearnings of either themselves or others, and as wish fulfilments, as Freud theorsizes in Interpretation of Dreams. This paper discusses the importance of dreams on both an individual and communal level by exploring how Black dreaming practices are used as freedom dreams for liberation. In African dream interpretation, the African world view is recognized in the acknowledgement that similar experiences of the world lead to the development of similar ways of adapting to the natural world (Nwoye). If the dreamspace is determined by our worldview and our own experiences, dreams offer a differing function for black people, as the Black experience has determined the physical way of being for black people for centuries. The reality of slavery for the African Diaspora disrupted and diffused cultural traditions. However similarities between African theories and practices of dreaming and that of black people in the diaspora suggest an influence of indigenous African heritage. In an African ontological view, it is recognized that a human life entails the experience of “being-in-the-world”, and therefore the importance of an other (Nwoye). This interdependence that exists between an individual and others is seen in MLK’s I have a dream speech and Harriet Tubman’s dreams of the underground railroad.

full essay coming soon


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work in collaboration with:: Physchoanalysis and the Visual (Gallatin Interdisciplinary course with Professor Eve Metzler, NYU)

Related Work: This Is For the Dreamers Zine
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