Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mississippi Goddam (Free Styling about My Life and the State of The Union)

I woke up to Nina Simone and Mississippi Goddam.

Alabama's gotten me so upset
Tennessee made me lose my rest
And everybody knows about Mississippi Goddam

I guess I identify. Everything seems to be moving too slow, especially on the race and gay marriage stuff in the Volunteer State. And in the end I am wondering what the real motivations for migrations and ex-patriotism are. Looking at me and Nina at 4:44 am in the morning I am starting to think that it is almost a primordial/patriarchal/matriarchal Freudian response (take your pick) to what is around you. A feeling of a betrayal that prompts self orphanage.

When younger I was enamoured by Huckleberry Finn.

I am dwelling on this with Nina a bit more than normal this morning because I used to sing with some of her former musicians in a gospel choir. And everyone that was in Germany that was African American was running from something out of a sense of deep betrayal. I guess, I was one of that number.

Looking at the State of the Union address, I started to think about my choir director, the professional singers that I knew, and a vibraphonist whose story on how he came to Germany still sticks with me (its that personal, that I just can't say). Condoleezza Rice's face on the PBS coverage of the speech spoke volumes about where we are now in this historical moment. She was dressed in black like at a funeral, and the darkness in her eyes was so complete and shadowed it declared something else about her well being besides being tired. It is terrible what it actual takes to become successful in the this country when you are coloured. I listen to the way black folk speak, from successful NFL coaches to leading politicians and I can't help but get this sense that you have to get with the party line. And the only thing about this mega-assimilation that I can gleam is that I am not following the right steps. I guess my hesitation comes from the inevitable change so well mapped out by Jill Nelson in her book Volunteer Slavery.

You set out to change the system, and the system changes you. Jill said it so correctly.

Maybe me listing to Nina was a premonition. I didn't find any joy in the occassion. Justice is a hard thing.

So is letting go.

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