No path you walk is easy. As a political moderate, I get a lot of nonsense from Conservatives and Liberals alike.
This summer was awful. For a while, our country was being torn about by the diseases of racism and COVID-19. That’s when I wrote this song. Since then, part of the Black Lives Matter Movement has been co-opted by people who are using the power of the phrase for their own purposes.
No one will ever record this song, except me. The music business avoids controversy like I avoid people without masks indoors. But I had to write it. I lost over 50 Facebook “friends” when I posted it this summer. Yeah, I had to write it.
It’s Black History Month, wow, a whole month for a race of people who have been neglected in our history books since this nation began. I figured this was as good a time as any to repost this song.
The man who raised me was a huge jazz and blues fan and immersed me in that music almost from birth. He took me to jazz clubs in New York and to see blues artists at Philadelphia clubs. I think I was 12 when he took me to Philly’s Second Fret to hear the harmonica and guitar artistry of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. It hooked me on acoustic blues forever. It influences my guitar playing and songwriting to this day.
I understand why so many people were afraid this summer. The protests, many of which turned into violent riots, scared me too. But the original message of Black Lives Matter was never clouded for me. It is sad that so many evil and really vicious people took advantage of the Black Lives Matter protests for their own nefarious purposes.
I was raised by a man who was color blind. I get it from him. Ed had friends all over the globe from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds. My friends in school and now are the same.
Black History Month does do some good. On QVC, I had the opportunity to present blues artists and authors who wrote about and performed the music that I had always loved. I even got to play Robert Johnson’s music from a box set we were selling. Cross Road Blues and Sweet Home Chicago on QVC. It doesn’t get much cooler than that! And once people heard the incredible sadness and pain in Johnson’s voice, many had to know that we’re all the same, with the same joys and sorrows.
Music changes people and people change things. I hope this song helps to do just that, at least in a small way. And I pray for the day when Black History Month is every day of the year, along with Asian History Month, White History Month, Latino History Month, Native American History Month along with all the other colors of the Human Rainbow.
© 2021 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.