Monday, November 10, 2008

Change, in perspective

When the Shynes lived in Dayton, Ohio on Harriet St. circa 1964, a rather elderly white lady came through my Grandparents' neighborhood, door-to-door selling what I presumed to be her hand-made aprons. She wasn't a mean old hag or anything like that, and Momdear, my grandmother, was courteous and open as always, but before the "Apron Lady" left their house, she asked Momdear something to the effect, "Is the lady next door a nigger-woman?" Or "nigga-oman" - in her accent. Of course Momdear had the patience of Job, and replied, "Yes, she's a Colored Lady." My grandmother in effect corrected the old white woman gently, while at the same time, declined to buy her wares. Sweet, huh? My father and his siblings were children, and my uncle tells me how even at that age they still marveled at how Momdear handled this.

Now, having said all that, juxtapose this with our curernt Barack beating McCain scenario, and I am reminded of the Neil Young song below: it still carries a powerful symbolic meaning for "right-now" times.

Southern Man
by Neil Young

Southern man better keep your head
Dont forget what your Good Book said
Southern change gonna come at last
Now your crosses are burning fast
Southern man

I saw cotton and I saw black
Tall white mansions and little shacks.
Southern man when will you pay them back?
I heard screamin and bullwhips cracking
How long? how long?

Lily belle, your hair is golden brown
Ive seen your black man comin round
Swear by God Im gonna cut him down!
I heard screamin and bullwhips cracking
How long? how long?


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