“It is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.”
People who treat other people as less than human must not be surprised when the bread they have cast on the waters comes floating back to them, poisoned.
“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”
Martin Luther King Jr.
“I learned early that crying out in protest could accomplish things. My older brothers and sister had started to school when, sometimes, they would come in and ask for a buttered biscuit or something and my mother, impatiently, would tell them no. But I would cry out and make a fuss until I got what I wanted. I remember well how my mother asked me why I couldn’t be a nice boy like Wilfred; but I would think to myself that Wilfred, for being so nice and quiet, often stayed hungry. So early in life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.”
[Samora] sees a metaphor for community activism in jazz and musical improvisation. All involve “creating from scratch. It’s the exact same thing we’re trying to do as a society. We’re stuck in all these patterns and we have to break out and imagine our way forward. Every time, we have to find the groove. We have to invent the future.”
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–and then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
“If you’re only concerned about YOUR rights, then you haven’t earned the right to be concerned.”
Jazz can help us all understand how to better manage our space in relation to other people’s space. The three fundamental aspects of jazz are:
Improvisation: I am. Identifying who you are and bringing your unique self and personality to the table.
Swing: It’s the opposite of that. Other people have personalities too. Other people need space too. With the same intensity of how you found yourself, find them. Find that common ground and nurture it. In jazz, it’s the opposites. The bass is way down at the bottom and the cymbals are way at the top, and they have to play on every beat together.
“The blues: Stuff doesn’t work out sometimes.”
We’re grateful to the black musicians throughout our history, who continued to innovate and create, in spite of the hate and violence waiting around every corner.
It seems only barely anything that we pay our tribute to them, and to the countless men and women who have stood in the face of their oppressors so that others might be offered a chance to be free in their own skin.
As our city wrestles a conversation that is nearly 400 years in the making, we want to share our love and support for you, and for everybody asking for something that’s already been promised to them – a chance at a life, perfect, whole, complete, and free from unnecessary and unending violence.
If you have something you’d like to say, and we can use this platform to help you say it, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org