Monthly Archives: June 2013
I’ve been wondering – when we brought up the subject of David’s management earlier this week – what his team has in store. And I don’t mean what new (and old) items they’ll throw our way during David’s absence. I’m wondering what the ground plan is when David returns.
So, here’s a poll to see what most of you would hope. 🙂
I’m feeling a certain kind of way, and it’s only midweek! It’s tough being black at the moment.
First, the Supreme Court’s punting on Affirmative Action on Monday (a policy that helped me access college, a PhD program, and my current academic position), then the Trayvon Martin trial started (and I’m getting emotional so early – y’all, I can’t!), and yesterday, the weakening of the Voting Rights Act, fought so hard for back in 1965 (check out above video).
I’m telling you: I’m feeling a new Reconstruction era/New Jim Crow coming on – it can only happen if we continue to forget our history!
My main fear is not folks trying to set us back legally and otherwise, it’s: Do we in 2013 have the same courage as the Civil Rights generation to rise up and fight injustice? Those people were prepared to die for freedom. I once asked my students if there was anything they were prepared to die for.
No, was the collective answer.
Frightening! (A self-absorbed generation would NEVER have been able to face down those state troopers in Selma 1965, and the non-black allies who responded in kind to the violence by joining their fellow African American citizens in the struggle: do we think – had they been so self-absorbed as today’s young people – would have looked at the same footage and join the movement? Or, would they simply say: “Not my problem”?)
Of course, all is not lost: in gender politics, Texas state senator Wendy Davis gave an 11-hour filibuster that blocked a law banning abortions in Texas. She trended last night on twitter: #standwithWendy.
But the racial fallout might make these gender politics mute if we don’t protect the basic rights that are the cornerstone of democracy.
Sigh. I need my David fix right now…
One of the social media things I miss from David has got to be his blogs. Granted, he didn’t do these as much once he switched to Twitter and his occasional vlogs.
Remember the blogs, when he would always give us a “Song for the Day”? I remember when he suggested Michael Jackson’s “Stranger in Moscow,” and I went, “What?! I don’t know that MJ song.”
One of those songs that came when his popularity started to wane. Anyway, both the song and video are really thoughtful and sophisticated. David’s selection of it as a “song for the day” impressed upon me that the guy really knew his pop music. So, on this fourth anniversary of MJ’s passing, I thought I would highlight the video here. 🙂
Hoping his kids are coping (poor Paris!).
On a side note, I remember Spike Lee had shared an anecdote, in which MJ called him wanting him to direct one of his music videos. And, in typical MJ style, he quietly asked Spike to look through the songs from his latest album and pick one that he’d like to direct the video for. Spike said he picked “Stranger in Moscow,” and MJ quietly told him, “What about ‘They Don’t Care About Us?'”
So much for choosing, right? 😉 Spike of course directed They Don’t Care About Us instead, and maybe folks would take this anecdote as proof that MJ was a controlling artist (but the great ones usually are – in fact, I could totally see David quietly getting his own way too while making it seem like he’s giving one of his collaborators “choice”). MJ had a vision, and obviously the racially provocative Spike Lee was appropriate (in MJ’s mind) to tackle his racially provocative “They Don’t Care About Us.”
Still, when I see this video (which is superb, I think, in capturing his melancholia), I sometimes think: “Hmmmm, what would Spike Lee have done with this?”
Anyways, I also remember, with David’s “song choice” selection, how the Archies immediately went into angst mode: Was David alright? Is he really depressed? Why oh why would he suggest a song like this? (And some probably were bothered that David even admired the troubled pop star.)
My hope for David: to reach out to collaborators, despite his shyness, and have a vision for his songs (down to the music videos he wants for them).