What I'm Listening To

Esperanza Spalding with Algebra Blesset, "Black Gold"

[Lyrics here.]

Video Description: A black father walking his two young sons home from school asks them what they learned today. "We're starting world history," says the older boy. "Today we learned about Africa and tomorrow we're gonna learn about Rome." His father asks him what he learned about Africa in one day. "That there were pharaohs and big huge pyramids in, um, Egypt, and that there are 86 countries on the continent, and that a lot of slaves came from West Africa."

His father asks, "Well, did you learn that Africa was full of queens and kings, and some of the first democratic societies were found in Africa?" "No." "That Africa was full of thousands of languages and religions, and that some of the most amazing artists and scientists that ever walked the face of the earth lived in Africa?" "No." Dad tells them that, after dinner, they're going to look at some of his African history books.

The song begins, with Spalding and Blesset onstage outdoors with musicians playing and the crowd dancing. Scenes of the performance are interspersed with scenes of the father showing his sons his African history books. Eventually one of the sons asks if his father hears music. They go to check it out, and join the crowd in the street.

In totally related news, Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has "temporarily removed himself from office Thursday, a day after city commissioners gave him a vote of no confidence." Despite the vote, and despite stepping aside, Lee said he "stands by the police department and the investigation" which did not see fit to arrest George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin.

[Thanks to Shaker Whitney for passing along the video.]

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