I almost didn't notice that it's black history month this year, but I did notice that I've been hitting some racial topics over the past few weeks. Most of that I think had to do with my old angle on MLK subsequent to his birthday. I have long held that King mistook non-violence for a strategy when it really is a tactic. It certainly was the right tactic for the context of civil rights in America, but that was all about solving the Negro Problem, which was a smaller problem than the entire existentials of black identity in the world. It turned out, of course, that black identity in the world got only a marginally effective kick in the pants from the Pan-African idea, and Harriet Tubman was really more actively creating freedom than the Black Power dudes. But I digress..
I never did get the wording right in the context for putting King in the proper bucket. That essay stands unfinished. Since that time I've defaulted back to the rhetorical question of whether King would have been big enough on the world stage in the alternate universe of Nazis winning WW2. See how non-violent he would have been then.
Pops is in the following video, and I think it's a good indication of perhaps where his grandchildren's generation puts all that context. All's well that ends well. They'll have other problems, and it's fairly certain that they do not feel the obligation of the race man, rather that there is some evidence of some multicultural accomodation in a country that can't get healthcare quite right but is trying...
I've only watched Pops and a few short seconds of the other interviewees, and I pass it on without comment on them. It's actually interesting that he mentions the white kids he grew up with in elementary school. He never actually talks about them, but has many fond memories of Hillhouse High School. The last time he went to a reunion, Ernest Borgnine was hanging out there, probably their most famous graduate. Funny how long ago and how different a time it was when somebody like Ernest Borgnine could be a star in America.
He did talk about the incident in Torrance at some length with the family, and I'm certainly in agreement with him on the conclusion. But in fact *we* were not intent on moving to Torrance, were we? I'll have to look that one up. As for the Obama celebration, I think this little vignette really exposes where he lives: in matters of the spirit. He definitely was inspired by the entire affair, although I cannot recall how much he got involved the second time around. His idea about the 'real' LA harkens back to the days when the Watts Summer Festival truly meant something special out here. There's that romantic black cultural nationalist in living color. You can catch him whenever the Watts Towers puts on a show.
I'm likely a bad interview of Pops, but it's nice to get him on record. I'll work on it.