Be sure to see “I am Not Your Negro”, the new Baldwin documentary by Raoul Peck. The film concentrates on Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, and Dr. King, three men who meant a lot to James. It is so sad that we now have the “toddler President” who plays into the white fear of non-white rebellion, immigrant takeover, and general lack of social control. The old white world depended on the repression, oppression, and exploitation of others, who were supposed to stay quiet and suffer in silence. It wasn’t good for our nation back then, and now it is simply impossible.
I was in a parking lot recently, waiting in a long line of cars. I had music blasting out the window, which is what I do in traffic jams. Much to my surprise, a young black girl wearing cat-eye shades started looking at me with solemn intensity. Her mother pulled her arm but she turned around and stared at me some more. I knew it wasn’t my 2003 Ford she was looking at – it was the sound she wanted, “Tribute to Jack Johnson,” by Miles Davis.
Art has the capacity to reach out far beyond its own borders, far past 1970, far past New York City, far past the musician who composed it or played it. No amount of politics can kill the appeal of Art. Art is a necessity. As we go forward into the uncertain future, remember we can all develop our ability to appreciate Art.
Resendez has written an excellent book which could drastically modify the study of slavery in the United States – if someone would pay attention.
From the 16th century to 1940, Native Americans were pressed into slavery and near-slavery by Spanish colonials, Mexicans, and each other. Instead of a great divide between black and white, this slavery was between brown and brown, and one day you might be free, the next day, a slave.
Other forms of servitude such as debt peonage and convict slavery came into use after enslavement of Native Americans was formally abolished. A timely topic given the current discussions of using prisoners to build a Border Wall.
Highly recommended for anyone interested in this subject.
Another tumultuous year is about to end. More tragedies, more strife, more discoveries.
Another year of writing. No matter what events may occur in the world, one must keep creating art, learning, and helping others.
Happy New Year, and all the best.
Marilyn Sue Michel