". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why We Have Martin Luther King Day

Smoky Robinson, Def Poetry Jam:

From an amigo in Maryland:

[ "Martin Luther King Jr. expressed a view that black Americans, as well as other disadvantaged Americans, should be compensated for historical wrongs. In an interview conducted for Playboy in 1965, he said that granting black Americans only equality could not realistically close the economic gap between them and whites. King said that he did not seek a full restitution of wages lost to slavery, which he believed impossible, but proposed a government compensatory program of $50 billion over ten years to all disadvantaged groups. He posited that "the money spent would be more than amply justified by the benefits that would accrue to the nation through a spectacular decline in school dropouts, family breakups, crime rates, illegitimacy, swollen relief rolls, rioting and other social evils".[77]:365–7 He presented this idea as an application of the common law regarding settlement of unpaid labor, but clarified that he felt that the money should not be spent exclusively on blacks. He stated, "It should benefit the disadvantaged of all races" " ]

Wonderful Martin Luther King birthday party yesterday, Uptown.  Five different gumbo, from five different contributors, each one distinct from the others, each equally delicious.

Among other highlights of this wonderful gathering, we met the daughter of one of the song writers for Harry Belafonte's album, Calypso.  Note, this is the first album to ever have sold a million copies.  He was also the first sex symbol to emerge from the folk music trend.  El V had memorized all the music and the words on Calypso by the time he was five.  History.  It lives.  We speak with it every day.

No comments: