Thursday, September 1, 2011

Statue notwithstanding - my "memorial dedication" to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...

...because he was wa-a-a-y more than the 39 year-old, "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" kinda guy - AND - because some folk, obviously, get him twisted.

In his own words, "The Drum Major Instinct:"



(And, per his request, Coretta Scott King - obliged)

Revealingly interesting and also encouraging, is the fact that my still-respected elder, Maya Angelou (who has, kinda-sorta-understandably-but-not, been blinded by the light of the "Os"), upon whose, AT THE VERY LEAST, "I-Know-Why-the-Caged-Bird-Sings"-shoulders I certainly stand (yeah, wikipedia as a source sucks, but I'm hoping it'll at least make you thirsty!) - takes issue with the new, MLK memorial .

She knew MLK and, at that time, had a keen, "whither thou goest" understanding of the march to "freedom."  But times and people - as often happens - change, which by no means diminishes her complaint and is actually, precisely why I find it encouraging.

She KNEW him.  And despite the fact that she's not spoken out about the "corporators" and their donors, she's speaking out - about the man she knew.  That says to me there's an inkling, a chance - that spirit lives - regardless!

So Dr. King - in the spirit of the lyrics to one of my First Pain's penned lyrics - "But you can't play it safe and follow dreams, Safe is the mask that Fear wears for Halloween" -  I, here, memorialize and salute you - because you of all people, really got the Safe vs Fear thing...

12 comments:

Ankhesen Mié said...

This country didn't deserve him.

Deb said...

No they didn't, Ankh...

nomad said...

Being an artist myself I know that it takes more than capturing the likeness of a person to create an effective monument. Most of us try to capture the soul in our portraiture. Wouldn't it have been neat if someone who was actually capable of understanding the content and character of King had designed the monument? Someone with a similar cultural outlook as King? Elizabeth Catlett would have been an excellent choice. Wonder if she's still alive and working.

Deb said...

nomad...I covet what being a true artist is about (I never graduated from drawing the Bambi on those old matchbook advertisings for art school!). How powerful and limitless, the freedom of expression!

See, THIS! - is the benefit of blogging! I won't even front and say I know anything about Elizabeth Catlett, however - after reading your comment - I spent all day finding out and all I can say is, "Thank you, so much."

Learnig that in her art, "She was determined to be a voice for the African American people and their women" sent all kinds of ancestral goose-bumps up my spine! And yes, based on what little I've seen, she certainly would have been a GREAT choice for the MLK monument (having immediately fallen in love with her piece, "Lovely Twice," I've just ordered - "Elizabeth Catlett: In the Image of the People" to better understand)!

"Wonder if she's still alive and working."

Based on what I found here (as of 2010): http://custombyamy.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/muse-of-the-week-elizabeth-catlett/#comment-665

"She became a mexican citizen. She taught sculpture at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City and retired in 1975, she continues to be active in the Cuernavaca, Mexico art community. She is 94."

She and her work, are yet another instance that keeps showing up - bolstering my thoughts about quitting America...

nomad said...

Yes, indeed. Black women are prominent in the history of black American art. Catlett is one of my favorites.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

Deb,

Out this month:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi3307641881/

and this one, so close to my childhood home if I tell you how close I would be giving up all the info:

http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1696439577/

Deb said...

Kitty...Girl you DO know what I like! Thanx! Now will I be able to watch the entire thing on IMDb? Or do I have to get that IMDbPro? Guess you can tell I've never been to the site to watch anything before! Hell, I'm barely watching TV or going to the movies anymore these days! Lemme know okay?

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

No, no IMDB, I assume both movies will be in theatres in September.

Do you know, no matter how many times I hear that MLK was only 39, I always think he was older, like 50, 51, 52. Especially if I were to think of him in terms of Obama. Obama at 39 vs. King at 39. It seems that MLK lived 12 lifetimes by the time he was 39. And it seems that Obama has not even started living, --still stuck on going on state sponsored, "field trips." I don't know if it is the white media patting themselves on the back when they observe/reveal the Obamas on trips or if it is how the Obamas act, or a little of both, but it sure seems like they go on "fieldtrips." No pun intended, as in the field in a field negro, but an actual field trip.

Deb said...

Oh, okay - I'm going to post the trailer and then drag my ass to a theater near me to see it!

"Do you know, no matter how many times I hear that MLK was only 39, I always think he was older, like 50, 51, 52."

I know what you mean. Just goes to show how much, and how fast Black folk had to grow up during those times as opposed, it seems, to now. The Changeling at 39 obviously did not have (and still does not have) the testicular fortitude it takes to love a battered and damned near broken people like Black folk that MLK died having. Call me old-fashioned, but that shit meant/means the world to me - still!

"...fieldtrips." No pun intended, as in the field in a field negro, but an actual field trip.

If they'd actualy DO those kinds of "fieldrips," Black folk might, maybe, probably, get some play (not really, but one can hope)! I've had a draft sitting for over a year on Mrs. "O," - just can't bring myself to finish it because with each day, my home-girl is more and more invisiblized in favor of her know/care-nothin-'bout-Black-folk-supposedly-wunderkind-husband. And it seems just fine with her, despite the fact she's definitely, at least twice-removed, from Field Negro stock. But you know how some of us get when we assimilate full-time...{smdh}

Haven't been to Houston in years - and didn't know much about it then. Methinks that 2nd link you gave me is about your alma mater - no?

Anonymous said...

Hello, Ms. Deb. I don't know if you saw this:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did?via=sidebyuserrec

Deb said...

Anon...Hey, (Kitty is that you?), I sure did - writing a post about it later today. I thought it was a great piece.

The Fabulous Kitty Glendower said...

No, not me. I cannot ever bother to go over to kos.

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