Thursday, July 16, 2009

Open Mike at Papa Mojo's and Barack Obama

Last night, I had the pleasure of hanging out once again at Papa Mojo's and enjoying another great show...Aaron was back and did a great job of some great Blues, and there was an awesome young lady, named Hope, who laid down some great Soulful tunes and of course Jasme did a Super job on two classics, Papa Was A Rolling Stone and her stirring rendition of the Prince Classic Purple Rain and she was doing this as part of her personal Birthday celebration.......I look forward to seeing her set at Hayti in September as part of the Bull Durham Blues Festival. Also Reid Splitter brought with him a talented violinist and he did a great job of performing on his two numbers, including a rousing rendition of Brick House that featured Violin...this was well done and rocked the house....Though I must say it was fun watching this one ladies reaction to the violin..She later told me that she just finds the violin to be such a sexy and seductive instrument, and I feel sorry for any man, woman, or child that tries to take away her attention when there is a violin being played....You know we all have our favorite instruments that we love...For example, I love soulful singing but I also love the sound of the horns and yes, I do love string music, but not to the extreme of that particular person.....And, of course I know some folks that just love Piano music, as well as the Drums and the Bass, both the standup variety and the bass guitar, as well as some who love the lead guitar and other instruments........
And speaking of instruments, earlier Barack Obama was talking about the importance of education and I was wondering how many of our youth here in Durham even know about classic authors like Thomas Wolfe, Mark Twain, or our own like Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and others and have read their books...How many of our youths are aware of entertainers from here like Nick Allen or Clyde McPhatter or Pigmeat Markham, entertainers from right here who paved their own path in entertainment long before Ninth Wonder and Purple St. James were doing their thing....I personally feel that our schools need to let our youth know about the proud heritage that has come from right here in the Triangle, and encourage them in their dreams and aspirations, and not find ways to tear it down...Too often we are too quick to label our kids and then put them on a destructive path of hopelessness and despair.....There are true stories of great intellect and great industry powers from right here in Durham, and we need to highlight these on a regular basis in our schools...How many of our teachers are using the story of N.C. Mutual in their classrooms and telling kids about the greatness that they come from right here in Durham...How many of our students are telling their students about Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois and what they thought of Durham in its heyday.....Are they making parallels to the development of now, have they told them about more modern pioneers like the Carl Webb, Brian Davis as an entrepreneur, or the late Ronnie Sturdivant...
As president Obama told the NAACP today, we need to work on improving our school system and letting folks know about the history from which they descended and help them define their destiny and pursue it in the 21st Century.....We need to find ways to encourage our youth, and not find ways to tear them down and belittle them...we need to understand that they have visions and hopes as well, and that who knows the next great Quincy Jones, Earl Graves, Malcolm X, or even Barack Obama may be sitting in our midst and we need to find ways to encourage them.

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