There is racist americana memorabilia all over my house. No friend of mine is offended. Sadly, the Obama presidency has convinced me that we haven't moved all that far from the hate and bigotry that I grew up with.
It's obvious that I have my heroes. A few of them are white. The idols who shaped my life are, for the most part, descendants of slaves. Little Richard. Memphis Minnie. Chuck Berry. Tampa Red. Bo Diddley. Muhammad Ali. Fats Domino. Lead Belly. Butterbeans and Suzie.
Oh, I could fill the page but you get my drift. I should add here that my main white hero shared most of these idols. Elvis swooned over Jackie Wilson, Wynonie Harris, Clyde McPhatter, the Ink Spots.
When I watch Amos and Andy, I'm reminded of a sad period of American history. I'm always entertained, though, and I'm forever lost in the genius of great artists. It infuriates me that Duke Ellington, Spencer Williams, Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan ever had to shuffle to express their genius. Obviously I will leave out the names of more heroes than I can cram in here. One that I can't omit, though, is Martin Luther King, Jr. He changed everything for all of us for the better.
My point, if in fact I have a point, is that this culture, built on this land that we stole from others,
comes chiefly from the oppressed children of slaves that we brought over in the hellacious hulls of ships from Africa.
Don't get me started on native Americans.