My paternal grandmother passed away last fall. Her birthday would have been today. Here she is with my daughter whose birthday is on Sunday. I thought about her when I heard about Rene Marie.
And thinking about Marie brought me back here:
My grandmother and grandfather were able to raise close to a dozen of my grandfather’s brothers and sisters after their parents unexpectedly passed. Throughout their trials and tribulations they remained steadfast, and dedicated to their family. They represented at their best a model of excellence that we should all hope to attain.
Gaye did pretty much the same thing, bringing a level of soul and depth to his rendition that was so powerful I’m tearing up as I listen.
At first I thought that what Martin did was hip-hop. But I got it backwards. What hip-hop does at its best is tap into a reservoir of improvisation that begins much earlier. Feel me? We’ve been attempting to imbue our values into the warp and woof of the American fabric since 1619. Hip-hop is just the latest attempt, and maybe not even the greatest.
My grandmother was, an Omni-American. And I honor her memory:
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.