HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!
YASSSSS! It’s Friday! I know how I cherish my Fridays and the brother in this video is doing the only TGIF dance. He even threw a little bit of motherland in it. I am always amazed at how much everyday brilliance is expressed in the culture of the African Diapora. A culture that Professor Ernest Morrell of Teachers College points out “encompasses over half a billion people…yet it’s often invisible.”
So today I won’t keep you long but I would like you to take some time this weekend to consider the genius, ingenuity, creativity, resilience, skill, innovation, verve, cleverness, imagination and yes, sheer brilliance of Black and Brown people. You stand before it and interact with it everyday. You call their names every time you take attendance and the trouble is they may not even know who they really are yet.
Recently I watched the PBS documentary, August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand. I was struck by two things about his life. First, in the tenth grade Wilson left school because he was “racially bullied at one school, bored at the next and accused of cheating at another.” He decided to drop out secretly and went on to educate himself at the Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburg. Those who were responsible for the education of Wilson refused to recognize his genius and were it not for his own determination we would never be its beneficiaries. Secondly, the body of Wilson’s dramatic work, known as the Century Play Cycle is the story of everyday Black folks over 100 years. Throughout these 10 plays he captures the beauty, love, memory and brilliance of a people. Wilson knew that you don’t need to look far to find the extraordinary.
As you plan for the balance of “Onyx October” remember to consider the genius you interact with on a regular basis. They should not be overlooked, go undeveloped or dismissed because if they are we all lose.
Deep thinkers only