Wednesday, June 03, 2020

In our lifetime?

It feels like we've stepped back in time, to the 1960s. A rocket went into space and it made the news. But that was just happenstance. What really makes it feel like we've gone backwards is another event – George Floyd's awful murder, and the resulting protests that are happening across America - and the world. It seems like a lot has changed in the last fifty odd years but nothing has changed. I have always found it difficult to believe that in my early lifetime segregation still existed in America, and horrendous acts of racism seemed commonplace (not only in America I'm sure, but it was supposed to be the land of the free, democratic, a seemingly advanced and developed country, so that makes it all the more difficult to understand). 

In 1970 Syl Johnson released his album It It Because I'm Black. On that album was a track written by bassist Bernard Reed – Together, Forever. The book Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power (Aaron Cohen) tells us that Bernard wrote the song after an incident on a Michigan Avenue bus where, while travelling with members of the band Pieces Of Peace, he was accused by a white passenger of being a thug. Bernard chose to write a song of hope. I wonder if Bernard's hope has run out yet. Fifty years and counting, I think we still have a way to go. 

1 comment:

C said...

Well said., Darcy. Shocking stuff still going on in the world and I don't know the half of it.