I had an awesome nap on the hammock with Archie today. I didn’t sleep well last night, so it was much needed. I had an incredibly productive day as well. I visited some accounts out in Tyler, TX and found good ‘ole NPR on the radio again. NPR is great. People should be forced to listen to it. It’s so enriching.
Today, while I was in the car, they had a special Black History Month segment with Maya Angelou. It was inspiring to say the least. Now, I’ll be very honest, I have never given much thought to Black History Month, except for when parking is limited because of a parade. In my schools we always “celebrated” black history month, but I feel like it was a mockery. The vivid images that Ms. Angelou painted over the radio waves were moving and I get it now. I wish that we didn’t “protect” school children from potentially troubling images. It erodes the history when we aren’t blatantly honest about what happened in our past.
As with all NPR stories, Angelou’s was full of great sound; slave poetry, gospel music and dramatic readings from important texts. A line from one of the poems was so stirring; “Strange fruits hanging from the poplars.”
It was referring to women who were lynched.
There was also a description of Sojurner Truth, who was speaking to a crowd of 3-4,000. As she rose to address the crowd, a man yelled, “THAT’S NO WOMAN!”
She responded, “I have worked the cotton as much as any man, I have taken as many lashes as any man, I can eat…when I can find it as much as any man. I had 13 children sold to slavery…I have lost as much as any man, but (ripping off her shirt) ain’t I a woman?”
Black, white, brown, yellow…that’s powerful. That kind of love and passion is how things get done. I think about Egypt and Libya. Don’t fooled, there is great violence happening around the world, but a lot of it is done in the name of love; love of freedom, love of family, etc.
Ms. Angelou closed with her belief that every human being is more alike than we are unlike; therefore, no human can be alien to another human. Every fiber of my being is part of what you are. We have made different decisions on how to use each fiber, but we are the same. We are human.