“Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About.”-Shirley Eikhard
Today we celebrate words in literature, words in music, words in journalism and words in the world of television. As writer, Theodore Dreiser, who was born today in 1900 said, “”How true it is that words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”
How true those words ring out as we think of the African American actress, Esther Rolle, born today in 1920 (though I’ve also seen her DOB as 1922) who played the mother on the hit TVshow, Good Times. When Ms Rolle was offered that part, she told the producers, “I couldn`t compound the lie that Black fathers don`t care about their children. I was proud of the family life I was able to introduce to television.” – ER, referring to her show “Good Times” and her insistence on having a husband and father figure.”-pinterest our history Many years ago I had the pleasure several times of seeing Bonnie Raitt, born today in 1949, on stage and at rallies, such as anti-nuke rallies with Jackson Browne. As a youngster, I loved her dad, the Broadway star, John Raitt and I admired the loving relationship they had. Bonnie was raised in a Quaker family and it is no wonder she got her political activism from her upbringing. Ms Raitt literally learned at the feet of Blues masters and made it her life’s mission to ensure that Blues musicians were credited and acknowledged for their great contributions to American music and music world wide. She helped co found The Rhythm & Blues Foundation which highlighted the plight of Blues musicians and singers who did not reap the royalties that they so deserved. As Bonnie Raitt once said, “I never saw music in terms of men and women or black and white. There was just cool and uncool.” American journalist and activist, Dorothy Day born today in 1847 would agree with Ms Raitt in her actions to help those in need and recognize that too many in our society have been treated unfairly and that continues, in various forms, today. Ms Day spoke out for pacifism, women’s suffrage and reform to help the poor. She believed that, “The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?” How true that is today, Nov. 8th, 2013! Margaret Mitchell, born today in 1900, wrote Gone With the Wind, which turned out to be more of a surprise to her than to anyone else for as she said, “In a weak moment, I have written a book.” A lot of controversy about racism within the book has been written about so that’s for you to google. I know I read the book and saw the movie and we all can never forget Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara. I don’t think Ms Mitchell ever expected her “weak moment” to produce over 30 million copies! Ms Mitchell went onto use her money to establish “…establish scholarships for Black medical students” after WW II. Theodore Dreiser’s great American novel, Sister Carrie was published today in 1900, the same year Margaret Mitchell was born. I know I enjoyed his novels as a young teenager. His books were schmaltzy, like soap operas. “SISTER CARRIE is the story of Carrie Meeber, a poor girl alone in Chicago. She lives with a traveling salesman and then runs off to New York with George Hurstwood, a prosperous married man. Hurstwood’s fortunes decline, and he becomes a bum and commits suicide. Carrie finds success, but not happiness, as an actress.”-PBS American Masters
Friday’s Fragments demonstrate those “little audible links” that have given us “something to talk about,” as Bonnie Raitt so beautifully continues to sing.