Yesterday I heard a story about MLK’s preaching as an art form. He used a method of oral traditions where he borrowed from other writings that he liked and created his own.
The report danced around the idea of it being a sort of music sampling, the art of combining sounds from existing music and making your own.
I love that idea.
I like, also, seeing how other people posted information, too. Clusterflock posted the photo (below) that put a Woolworth’s drug store in Greensboro, NC on the map back in February 1960:
Read more about this story here.
I spent a lot of time in Greensboro growing up, and — you know what — I never heard this sit-in story while living there.
I waited till I got to Chicago. At the time, I worked at the Merchandise Mart, a company who owns buildings in High Point, NC where I grew up. High Point neighbors Greensboro. I heard a story about the head boss, one of Robert Kennedy’s kids, and how he took his executive staff on a field trip while in North Carolina. They visited the place where Woolworth’s was.
This person told me how the sit-in meant a lot to Kennedy — you could tell by the look on his face — but you could tell that the others were kind of bored. The trip was anticlimactic, because I don’t think the place exists as it did. From what I remember, they spent a while trying to look through windows of a closed-down building.
What is racism?
Growing up in the south, racism just was. And I knew very little about it, except that there were lots of people around me that got whispery when they talked about black people.
I’d love to say that I’m not racist, but I can’t say that. I don’t believe anyone is absent of racism. Maybe I’m wrong about that. I hope I am.
I need these stories like the ones at Woolworth’s. I need stories on the radio. I need more exposure and time with people of different cultures and skin colors. I need more understanding.
We all could use more. The best way lots of us can end racist talk is by discontinuing the use of the phrase, “I’m not racist, but …”
Screeching tires segue
I was hoping to somehow drift toward another story that happened in Greensboro lately, but it doesn’t feel right to do. But I’m going to force it in like the dude in the previous post shoving the Tower of Pisa into his friends rectum.
Go check out this story over at Friendly Atheist in which a Greensboro, NC atheist, agnostic and skeptics group helped remove prayer from city council meetings in their city.
I don’t think anyone is going to memorialize the podium that the atheists spoke at like they did the counter at Woolworth’s, but it’s a big deal.
Social conservatives yap on about the old ways of life, when everything was peachy and great. But the Woolworth’s thing, that happened only 52 years ago. That’s a little drop in the bucket of human history.
And the prayer thing happened over the last year.
We don’t need to go back to racist America. And we don’t need prayer to one deity, when the world has many. This is a country of freedom. And freedom means you can worship what and who you want. And I can have the freedom not to. And if that steps on your toes, you fail at understanding the meaning of freedom.
I don’t want sit-ins at Woolworth’s. I don’t want prayer to one deity at my city meetings. Not because it makes me feel uncomfortable, but because it might make someone else.
I care about other people. I try really hard to do so anyway.
I hope you do, too.