Saturday, March 17, 2018

Cornel West's Great Essay "Brother Martin Was a Blues Man"

This morning I enjoyed Cornel West's great essay "Brother Martin Was a Blues Man" in Boston Review, which is also a podcast.  The essay notes, "72 percent of Americans disapproved of Martin when he was shot in Memphis and 50 percent of black Americans disapproved of Martin when he was shot. We should never forget that. We all love him now that the worms got his body. But when he was speaking the truth, he was radically unsettling folk. [ . . . .]  The New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, New Republic, exemplary liberal [ . . . ] pushed Martin aside. [ . . . .] For him, a Vietnamese baby has the same value as an American baby. That’s when they said, 'You ain’t nothing but an extension of Radio Hanoi. You are a communist.' And then what happened? Black preachers turned away from him, didn’t allow him to speak at the pulpits anymore."  Poets, that is our job in the tribe -- to speak the truth, and as Joy Harjo noted, "to sing" while we are doing it.

Thanks to visitors this morning from Ukraine, Germany, Spain, Philippines, Pakistan, and Russia, and recently from Japan, South Korea, Poland, Portugal, and, Australia.

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