Elevate the Voices That Need To Be Heard

I came across this jazz musician and this album yesterday, listening to our local Jazz radio station, KCSM, in the San Francisco Bay Area. In lead up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they were playing various artists with particular undertones and themes around Civil Rights, Equality, etc.

The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons was one of the albums they featured, a 2020 edition by Jazz bassist Christian McBride. I love the basic concept of this album, particularly elevating and providing “sonic portraits of such black civil icons as Rosa ParksMalcolm XMartin Luther King Jr.Muhammad Ali, and Barack Obama narrated by the voices of Sonia SanchezVondie Curtis-Hall, Dion Graham, and Wendell Pierce.”

And so to elevate those voices as well, I offer a few tidbits I found from each of those icons noted above — and then do what we white folks need to do now, long past due: elevate the voices of those who deserve more from our American society, when will it be that we will finally listen? Let’s move in that direction…

Rosa Parks: ““You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” “I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free…so other people would also be free.” “I knew someone had to take the first step and I made up my mind not to move.”

Malcolm X: ““I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”

Muhammad Ali: ““He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”.

Martin Luther King Jr.: “…I would rather have a bruised and broken body than a bruised and broken soul…” and this, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Barack Obama: “another tradition to politics, a tradition (of politics) that stretched from the days of the country’s founding to the glory of the civil rights movement, a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done.”

And so, listen to the following clip from youtube about this album, the inspiration therein…

and then you can read more via the wikipedia post below too.

And then what say you, we make some positive change for those who need it most —


God Bless Tutu

A great human left our ranks today, the Right Reverend Desmond Tutu, of South Africa. Anglican priest, theologian, teacher, activist.

He saw many things during his life time; he did great work; he inspired many. MANY.

He collaborated, he furthered his own spirit and effect by working with others for good. For joy. For others.

To be sure, he made a difference on so many fronts; this effect happened over decades; so much effort; so many spheres of influence…

The glory from a lifetime of work…

May he greet The Almighty with dance and laughter and certainty of the light he followed, he provided, he loved,

Dance on, Tutu,

We celebrate you, Tutu,


And we thank you.

He Entered The Chaos

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of different people.

There’s the mostly secular perspective, well-meaning, general good will toward all and peace to all, some (or a lot) of gift-giving,

There’s the solstice dynamic, as nature begins its march through darkness to the light and warmth of spring, many many folks celebrate this period,

And of course, there is the religious perspective.

I think there are something like a billion Christians in the world; I’m one of them, it turns out. So this is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus, when God entered the world, to live and die as a human.

On my best days I can enter the spiritual realm and wonder at the significance that Jesus brought to the world,

But most days, especially over the last couple of years,

It’s been pretty bumpy at times, sustained turbulence, many trials and lessons along the way,

And so this particular Christmas I think I celebrate God’s willingness and desire to enter into our chhuman experience. Indeed, more than two thousand years later,

We celebrate the divinity and mystery of The Almighty, born into the world to bring hope and joy and love to the whole of humanity, for ever more.

Happy Christmas!


I shared this one before. Not mine, not even U2’s originally…

Originally from a now nameless writer several thousand years ago. What language was it even written in?

No matter. The words ate timeless in their comfort and hope. From Psalm 40.

“I wait for the Lord, he inclines and hears my cry; he lift me up out of the pit, out of the myre and clay…

And I will sing a new song of praise to the Lord…”

Something like that. Each minute. Each hour. Each day. Something like that.



“On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, the major Western powers who had been at war for four years, called an armistice; the day the “war to end all wars” was paused, and hostilities soon ended. World War I. More than 8 million combatants perished; more than 11 million civilians also died in during that war.

There had certainly been war between armies in the past; there have been several major wars since WWI as well; nothing on that scale of that first so-called world war; but then, any lose of human life is tragic, and especially on a mass scale.

Maybe part of the purpose of Armistice Day, of Veterans Day, is to honor and remember those who served, BUT ALSO,

Maybe the purpose be reminded that we as humans in society should always look for alternatives to violence to resolve our differences; between countries, between peoples, and within our communities.

Violence is never the final solution; let’s avoid it all together.

Democracy, Low and Slow: Working The Polling Center

Duties as assigned. I’m a Floater. Story of my life.

Like a rover in the secondary of a football defense. Ready to help keep things together, and get the vote in, safe and secure.

Monitor the kids collecting the voting station binders and ballot bags, keep the binders organized.

We’ll see how it goes.

What are we getting?

*Sealed blue ballot bags

*Vote Center Binders

*The Key(s) In The Pouch In The Binder.

That’s how democracy is delivered. Low and slow.

Democracy, Low and Slow

Duties as assigned. Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters (ROV). Volunteering to get the vote in. The last mile. Election Night. 100 vote centers, 100 cars inbound with sealed ballot bags.

People meander in and out of the ROV building, dropping off ballots. Cars slowly creep through the parking lots. There’s a nice breeze.

I hang back, watching it all come together. More mulling about; sun sinking lower.

And when things get going here?

I’m a Floater. Story of my life. Like a rover in the secondary of a football defense. Ready to help keep things together, and help bring it all on, safe and secure.

Here’s how change happens; get involved a little; give your time; lend a hand. That’s how change happens.

Sounds like I’ll be wrangling some. Maybe end up on the road as a last minute courier.

As long as I’m home by Midnight, I’m good.

We’ll see how it goes.

If the work’s on-site, it might go like this:

Monitor the high schoolers collecting the binders and bags, keep the binders organized, maybe. Did we get Number 23 yet?

What are we getting?

*Sealed blue ballot bags

*Vote Center Binders

*The Key(s) In The Pouch In The Binder.

What does it all equal? Low and slow, that’s how it goes. Democracy.