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Twitter reacts to the Kamala Harris ‘fweedom’ story

Jane Corscadden January 5, 2021
kamala harris fweedom
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris has found herself in the spotlight today, after some Twitter users pointed out that a childhood story of hers seems remarkably similar to a story told by Martin Luther King in a 1965 interview. So, what’s behind the Kamala Harris “fweedom” story? Let’s take a look.

The Kamala Harris “fweedom” story

In an October interview with Elle Magazine, Kamala Harris retold a story from her childhood.

Harris recalls an incident where she was “being wheeled through an Oakland, California, civil rights march in a stroller with no straps, by her parents and uncle.”

She continues: “My mother tells me a story about how I’m fussing. She’s like ‘Baby, what do you want? What do you need?’ And I just looked at her and said, ‘Fweedom.’”

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Some social media users have since noticed the parallels between Harris’s story and an anecdote Martin Luther King told Playboy Magazine about a march in Birmingham, Alabama.

In the 1965 interview, he said: “A little Negro girl, seven or eight years old…was walking in a demonstration with her mother. ‘What do you want?’ the policeman asked her gruffly, and the little girl looked him straight in the eye and answered, ‘Fwee-dom.’ She couldn’t even pronounce it, but she knew. It was beautiful!”

Right down to the childhood mispronunciation of “freedom”, it seems as though Harris has lifted her personal story from the words of MLK.

The Twittersphere responds

A few months after the Elle Magazine interview, some Twitter users are unwilling to let the “fweedom” story go.

https://twitter.com/thejtlewis/status/1346341125334867969?s=20

Some have even found the humour in the situation.

https://twitter.com/LaurPhylEvil/status/1346365107320733699?s=20

While others are mentioning that the story was quite cringe-worthy.

https://twitter.com/cringepolitik/status/1346382639679197186?s=20
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Jane is a freelance journalist from Belfast, Northern Ireland specialising in news, culture and politics. She studied Politics at Queen’s University Belfast before completing a Journalism MA at the University of Ulster. Always trawling social media and keeping up to date with the latest trends and crazes, her main interest lies in digital culture and internet trends.