". . . 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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Aperçu and Silhouette - Toshi Reagon and Mavis Staples

     . . . . For reasons unknown to me I woke up with the words aperçu and silhouette in mind, seeing them elegant and graceful in their appearance on the page or screen, and equally so in their meanings. 

If today I were presented with two young kittens I would name them Aperçu and Silhouette -- for which they surely would punish me for all their days . . . .

     . . . . Yesterday's late afternoon, evening and night were perfect June light and weather.

Toshi Reagon

Reagon's band, Big Lovely - Central Park Summer Stage June 3, 2017

We were at Central Park for the reception prior to the opening show for the annual Summer Stage program.  The sky didn't go completely dark in the west until about 9 PM. The June-leafed out trees of the park were silhouetted against the brilliant sunset colors.

Mavis Staples took us there!

The one and only Nona Hendryx! Singer, songwriter, actress, LBGT activist.

The music was provided by two kickass women and their big bands -- Toshi Reagon and Mavis Staples. Among the great performers who got up to join Mavis and Toshi in the Big Bands' grand finale, was the splendid Nona Hendryx!  We were right up there front and center for it.

The audience was New Yorkers almost all, as Summer Stage is too localized a system to attract that many tourists.  As with everything here these days there were many moments during which the audience registered its dislike for the current policies emitted in D.C. that concern the city and her residents.  Recall who these women are: Mavis as she gleefully pointed out, was with Dr. King at Selma and -- I am still here! Toshi's mother is Bernice Johnson Reagon, song leader, composer, scholar, and social activist, who was a founding member of the SNCC Freedom Singers in the Albany Movement (Albany, Georgia, desegregation 1961 - 1962).

Yah, one of those nights that again tell us are why we are all in this city and why we love it -- and why those others hate us and it.

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