Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is a Sociological Phenomenon of a journey in the world of the Arts in America, when racism interfered with artistic possibilities on a very serious level. My story like so many, should be told to help empower the young artists of the future.
Recently I saw a documentary, " Unstoppable," an interview with three renaissance characters who came through the same period of artistic deprivation as myself during which our Passions and Dreams were crippled by racism.
Ossie Davis, Gordon Parks, and Melvin Van Peebles were gentlemen who refused to be blocked or ambushed by lesser intellects. Many of their experiences were very similar to my own; I have many cherished and privileged moments with Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, in the struggle to move forward.
In the words of Melvin Van Peebles' son, Mario, "My father didn't think outside of the box, but outside of the building." My experience at Morgan State University this summer afforded me the ability to help inspire young people "to think outside of the building."
To persevere is the order of the day, to preserve one's Passion and Dreams--our goal.
These are tall orders, and when obstacles are overcome, "You have run a great race."
Morgan State presented a two part interview series entitled "Wisdom from the Journey." I was the Artist chosen to be interviewed in front of a live audience, with questions and answers at the finale. I was deeply honored and humbled.
My journey has been a successful one, but one that has met many negatives along the way. I am still writing my memoir and I realize the importance of sharing my unique story.
My Passions and Dreams are alive and well.