Author Feature ~ Monica Marie Jones

The Higher Ground Railroad

By Monica Marie Jones

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

– Harriet Tubman

This Harriet Tubman quote resonated with me from the moment that I read it. It sparked something in me because I realized that even though she said it many years ago, it is still very relevant today. We are still slaves in so many ways. I call it Modern Day Mental Slavery. Think about it in terms of education, money, politics and religion. Now think about how many people don’t even know that they are and how they are slaves to these institutions. If we don’t know that we are slaves in these areas, how can we be set free?

Slavery is defined as…

…Involuntary subjection to others.

…Complete ownership and control by a master.

…Exhausting labor or restricted freedom.

…to be sold into slavery.

Now let me break each of these definitions down in relation to the four institutions mentioned above.


…Involuntary subjection to others

We are subject to those who we believe hold the keys to education and whatever information they decide to disseminate.

What you don’t know CAN hurt you. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. I also realize how much necessary knowledge is not a part of grade school or higher education curriculums. So imagine what would happen if I had just stopped learning or seeking knowledge after college. Think about how many people stop learning and seeking knowledge right after high school. When we leave our knowledge and education in the hands of others, there is so much that is intentionally NOT taught. This means that we are in servitude to the information that we are made privy to. If we do not seek any further knowledge or education above and beyond what is handed to us, how can we be academically free? We simply believe what we hear, see, or are told. Unfortunately for many, the best place to hide something that you don’t want them to know…is in a book.


…complete ownership and control by a master.

Politicians are often referred to as public servants, but, if we don’t vote, and we don’t know who our public servants are, and if we don’t hold them accountable when we do know who they are…then who’s the master?

“Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” – Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

The master is often money, and those who have it, therefore they have the ability to control and manipulate legislature and legislators who then control the decisions that are intended to be made on our behalf and reflect our voice. But if we don’t exercise that voice through voting and holding our representatives accountable, then those decisions are made for us.


…Exhausting labor or restricted freedom.

We hear the term, Financial Freedom, thrown around quite a bit. It’s called that for a reason. So if you’re not financially free? What does that make you?

If you work a 9 to 5 job to make ends meet, I’m sure that you’ve felt restricted…whether it’s your time, your creativity, or your voice. After exchanging your time for hours by doing exhausting mental or physical labor, it still never seems that you have quite enough money to do what you need to do. Does this sound like your life? We find ourselves caught up in an endless cycle with money, often referred to as the rat race, because of what we don’t know about how to make it work for us instead of the other way around.

“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” – P.T. Barnum


…to be sold into slavery.

Last week I had the honor of being invited to the private media event for the new Oxygen Network show, Preachers of Detroit. Each “Character” from the show had an opportunity to speak after a clip about them from the season was shown. I couldn’t help but get the feeling of being “sold” on whatever methodology or religious sect each of them represented. Whether it was purity, or women in leadership, or men in leadership, or prosperity…Each was a salesman or saleswoman on their views or beliefs…but don’t we only have one God?

It has been said that spirituality is the destination and religion is the vehicle. Perhaps, like Harriet Tubman, the best route or way to destination freedom… is to walk.

What or who are you a slave to?

While the institution of slavery as we know it may have ended, many of us are still subject to a very different yet no less detrimental form of bondage. Modern day mental slavery.

Education, money, politics and religion are four very powerful pathways to freedom. If we don’t know that we are or how we are in servitude in these areas, how can we ever be free?









Author: Monica Marie Jones


Twitter: @MonicaMJones



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