“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
85 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. His light and his humanity continue to glow. Dr. King greatly influenced how I developed lesson plans; how I provided a safe learning environment for my students and their families; what I taught and how I taught it. Dr. King’s picture always hung in my son’s room and he took it to college with him and to his apartment in the city when he moved out and began teaching in Harlem. He regularly referred to a book he had with Dr. King’s speeches for inspiration. Dr. King was someone we talked about in our home. I hope that his words and actions and the love he had for humanity never dim and never go out. We need them more than ever.
“My concern has always been for the people who are victimized, unable to speak for themselves and who need outside help.”-Joan Baez
Today I so celebrate the beautiful Joan Baez and all of her humanity in her 73rd year. Joan has “Nothing to Prove” and luckily for the world, she’s “Still the Same.” I have been listening to Joan and following her doings for over 50 years, yes 50 years! I know some of you out there have been doing the same for as long. Joan Baez has been in the forefront of so many issues that have plagued the World. She’s marched with Dr. King; inspired Vaclev Havel and others around the world to do better by their citizens; Joan stood alongside Nelson Mandela; She walked with Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo or sometimes known as Los Madres in Argentina, mothers and grandmothers whose children and grandchildren suddenly disappeared from their lives and killed by the “Dirty War” (1975-1983), which began in the last year of government rule under Isabel Peron. (Folksinger, Richard Shindell wrote a haunting song for these Mothers and Grandmothers titled: Abuelita. If you’ve never heard it, try to listen on itunes, I couldn’t find it for free on You Tube). Through her commitment to Human Rights, she worked with Cesar Chavez in the fields and helped bring the working and living conditions of migrant workers to the forefront. Joan Baez has ceaselessly been a Citizen of the World. I Thank YOU Joan and Happy Birthday. Please Keep On Singing!
What an historic and monumental day! 50 years ago, The March on Washington gave us all hope and determination to work to make lives better for all citizens. Lots of work left to be done…
“Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music. ”–Jimi Hendrix
It’s funny where you’ll hear good music sometimes. There I was, waiting to see the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor, when on the waiting room’s TV screen, a great, great version of “God Bless the Child” appeared and put a smile on my face. It was Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday…the editing was fantastic! You could just feel the respect and admiration Tony Bennett has/had for Lady Day! In 1997, Bennett put out a tribute album to Holiday, Tony Bennett on Holiday, but I have no idea when the video was made, obviously years later. For those of you who may not know, Mr. Bennett was very vocal during the Civil Rights Movement, marching alongside Dr. King. He is a philanthropist and just a good guy all around.
“Holiday (born Eleanora Fagan) grew up in jazz talent-rich Baltimore in the 1920s. As a young teenager, Holiday served the beginning part of her so-called “apprenticeship” by singing along with records by Bessie Smith or Louis Armstrong in after-hours jazz clubs. When Holiday’s mother, Sadie Fagan, moved to New York in search of a better job, Billie eventually went with her. She made her true singing debut in obscure Harlem nightclubs and borrowed her professional name – Billie Holiday – from screen star Billie Dove. Although she never underwent any technical training and never even so much as learned how to read music, Holiday quickly became an active participant in what was then one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the country.”–Billie Holiday Official Site