Leontyne’s Heights

Massive dignity even in illustration

“If you are going to think Black, think positive about it. Don’t think down on it, or think it is something in your way. And this way, when you really do want to stretch out, and express how beautiful Black is, everybody will hear you.”

Today we have to many African Americans*, especially in the public eye and especially in academia , pretending being black is some albatross on their necks white folks need to ignore or reward in order for them to succeed. Most will try to cover up those feelings of inadequacies up with false proclamations of pride. Mainly concerning some “radical” Negro telling white people off, “speaking truth to power” or some such, like a rebellious teen does to his momma. But they give away their feelings of inadequacy by showing how worried they are about the Caucasian race’s opinions . Sadly, they don’t know prospering and ascending; taking black culture to new, yet tradition rooted, heights is far more impressive than petty rebellion.  The accomplished Leontyne Price basically understood this and that’s why I decided to highlight her words at the beginning of this post.

* I use African American instead of Negro or Black on purpose.

What Am I Into?

To continue my weekly series of posts where I reserve Sunday to post some of the things I’m into.
I am actually reading two articles as I type that I find very interesting.

Tears of Sadness

Elizabeth Wright was a Black female conservative, in the Booker T. Washington or Zora Neale Hurston mold, who published Issues & Views, it started as a hard copy paper and eventually migrated to the net. Her article Keeping the Spotlight on Failure is just plain great. A real joy to read. Here is its opening:
“It is normal for members of an ethnic group to celebrate the high points in their shared history. The victories over natural and man made catastrophes are held up as proof of the specialness of their heritage. Black Americans, however, are encouraged to remain fixated on the dreariest aspects of our past. Observe the typical museum exhibition or photography display devoted to black history, and you are likely to find depictions of slaves in torment, or photos of gory lynchings or smoldering ash aftermaths of Klan raids. If, now and then, an uplifting image does slip through, it usually has been inserted only to highlight some ensuing tragedy or “injustice.” When it comes to blacks, one usually gets to see only the ruination, not the rebuilding, the deterioration, not the renewal.”

The Troops?

Down in Jamaica, the Gleaner reports that Senior Rastafarian says no to repealing Buggery Law  & We have the numbers’ – Church leaders confident enough religious Jamaicans in island to prevent change to buggery laws. I’m not sure how effective I trust Buggery Laws to be nor am I’m convinced they should exist. But it is nice to see a largely Black nation resist the dictates of the West and its desire to change everyone’s cultural and moral codes to fit theirs. Real diversity would  recognize that a different cultures and peoples value different lifestyles, among other things, they aren’t merely places to try different foods.

Of course I listened to some old school gospel today, more effective of them being , Mary Don’t You Weep by Aretha Franklin.