Monday, November 27, 2006

Music soothes the soul

These days there aren't many good albums on the newsstands, but my hope has been rekindled by the likes of The Game, Akon and Jay-Z.

I'm not going to even try to front and say that I like all this club-like, finger-snapping, leaning and rocking music coming out of the South, but the South has been slept on for way too long and it's about time for people to realize that New York City no longer reigns supreme when it comes to music.

The West coast always get love from the days of NWA--MC Ren, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube to the likes of Ice T, Too Short and 2Pac. There was always something mesmerizing about the west coast; maybe it's their swagger that is a mix of Mexican esé and Blacks who get their roots from the Black Panthers, yes that Black Panther party!

On the subject of Blacks, it's really perplexing that many young adults (between the ages of 17 & 22) will argue that Racism doesn't exist any longer! Hard to comprehend, right? Well, I was sitting in a meeting last week with a bunch of educated students who argued the issue that people today, judge each other based on their merits and not the color of their skin. I had to take a couple deep breathes and repeat my TM mantra more than a dozen times because I was lost in the thought that these soon-to-be graduates would be entering the world and all that they've been spoon fed is a bunch of Similac. It's truly a sad state when all they believe is terms such as "African-American", "Mexican-American" and "Asian-American" are terms of endearment, when the reality is that they are names given to these racial groups. Another fleecing of American in the age of being politically correct. More Similac?

These same students decided to tackle the issue of homosexuality and then the plot thickened and took on an entirely new path. This path was lined with political jockeying and 'playing it safe'. If it wasn't for one particular and outside-the-box thinking young man from New Hampshire who spoke up and said, "I don't care if two guys want to get it on and love each other. Who am I to say that shit is wrong? Just because someone says that it's wrong doesn't make them the King or Queen!" I wanted to scream out "YES!",but my role at this meeting was as moderator and encourager of conversation. I wanted to walk up to him, give him a pound, hug him and even plant a kiss on his cheek, but I had to hold back and lay in the cut. What a tough position to be in. Wow!!

Back to the music that's been soothing my soul. You see, I always think about the "what-ifs?", such as if I ever were deserted on an island and had to choose what items I could have-- you know you've thought about it too-- it would have to be a radio with an endless supply of batteries. I have to have my music just like some folks have to have their MTV. Give me a radio and some CDs of my favorite artists or bands such as Jam Band of the Virgin Islands, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-1, Bob Marley and The Temptations. Yes, I do love some oldies and think more artist need to listen to groups such as the Chi-Lites, The Supremes and singers such as Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye and Diana Ross to name a few.

So, on this Monday after Thanksgiving, I give thanks to the musicians and artists that perform and share their gifts with the world. It's a new era and we thank you.


  1. Hi Dee. What kinda kids were they? A diverse bunch or all white? Cause, you kow,my people can be kinda dense when if comes to recognizing more subtle forms of racism.

  2. This was a diverse group, but the Black and Hispanic kids chose to lay in the cut and gather information. Then, only a few spoke up or truthfully about their experiences with racism and other 'isms'.

    I have a follow-up discussion in a couple of weeks and I'll post observations about that discussion.


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