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 Parks, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, and Barack Obama narrated by the voices of Sonia Sanchez, Vondie 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 —