First, the song, this is my favorite piece of sheet music ever recorded. It captures my utmost imgaination. And imagination was in full swing in 1985 when this mini series based on the classic john jakes novels debuted on ABC. The 80's were a time of big idea's, chances, this was when TV, ABC, CBS, NBC, the big 3 made epic TV mini series based on the greatest periods in all of history, Napleon, the Odyssey, Egyption rulers and yes, North & South our American revolution. And what an ensemble cast it was, check the names, what a budget long before 1,000 cable channels divvied the pie.
My father was excited long before it aired, I was 9, the early ominous commercial bites were enough to mouth hook us straight on couch for it's longing duration. I had so many questions and unlike the middle east these were questions my dad attempted to answer. I felt myself rooting for the slaves wishing their was some way I could help. North & South was a family story at it's heart, two friends meet at West Point, best friends from two familes, an industrial family contrasted against a plantation (North & South). And at west point these geographic differences meant little, they were Americans. The regional difference were something to celebrate and explore the traditions and mores of another place apart of your matching glorious homeland of the free, the brave. And the West Point stuff was so cool. It was great propaganda beacuse I, from that point wanted to go to West Point, it was so captain. I of course didn't forsee the minor slip into juvenile deliquency and consequently had to count on basketball not west point to barely escape life working Shell gas station.
But this song, that era, the story of best friends that soon after West Point fought in the Mexican war returned home decorated hero's only to be thrown back into war, the bloodiest our fair lady of liberty and her torch will ever endure. So many questions as a kid, I used to tell teachers in Junior High I hated white people this would inadverently land me with the therapist. And my points were valid, i couldn't pass a class to save my ass but I loved history. I couldn't understand for the life of me the reactions and responses I'd get from adults about this topic of slavery. This topic of segregation, this topic of American injustice.
I figured the English were the root of most evil over the large landscape of world history I only partially understood. I got to college, shit, I was right ! I had an instinct for basketball, sales and for a rascist eye. And this series along with my black brotherhood helped foster a fight that everyone loves to say was for another era.
Side Point Trayvon Martin: The last thing I'll say about Trayvon, and I'll channel Mathew Mchouney in his legendary role as an attorney in John Grisham's, A Time To Kill, "what if she (he in my example) were white?" it's something you don't want to hear about, people have their own problems and ultimaly have never been a victim on the other side of a racial blockade.
And through it all i saw injustice, I recorded it's ledger and upset many in a status quo that never wanted to bothered by such past anomlies not knowing it was in fact a birth defect of America herself. It was infact alive then as it was now as it was in this series. And it will never go away, can only be dealt with. The striking contradiction in our bill of rights how do you reconcile that against a child's questions watching slavery in all of it's inhumane horror? The curious institution of slavery i believe the europeans then referred to it as.
My dad would tell me to study borroughs of eastern europe and then big up America, and I did, but I just couldn't shake the hypocrosy? Black and white that divided that simple. Except for us! And that gives Charlie Paradise a swagger you'd have to see to believe, and it gives me these guys. The YG foundation supports METCO, so often once they left town and our athletic fields the school is done. The bond soon ends and if it wasn't for facebook we'd know these many faces and personalites from our childhood only through memories of polariods. Not us
Here's a vid of me sneaking home recently and dropping in on the barber shop, my dear friends and teammates in LIFE, Terrence Nolen and keith Bodden. Keith seen her cutting T-Bone's lettuce in the cut (name of shop) a true hero of mine. he took 5, yes5! to the head, lived to tell it and now owns a barbar shop to support his five children and awesome wife Chalonda. And it's not for the faint of heart, and too often you don't want to hear it, you think your tough and life was too, but nah. Anyway w/ out further due for the true fans of YG and that of GDD, KEEP BANGING, the FIGHT NEVER ENDS.!
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