Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Living In America

James Brown was 72 when he wrote his book or told his story to March Eliot. He thought he was gonna be around for a long time and that if he made it till 80 or 95 he would still be performing.

Brown says he was asked "a million times" if he would endorse Rev. Al Sharpton, if he ran for president. Brown says that if "the Democratic Party somehow ever gave him the number one pole position, they would be making a major mistake."

He said the difference between White boy and Black boy was "..every Black boy knows that the chip doesn't fall too far from the block, while every White boy thinks he can be president." Or black children are realists and whites see a world of unlimited opportunity by virtue of their skin color.

Brown also said "For a Black man to even dream about becoming president, he'd better be as talented as Abe Lincoln. You understand what I'm saying? I think you do. And if this Black person does become a president, he'd better stay out of the Ford's Theatre."

I am not sure President Obama is as talented as Abe Lincoln, or if Lincoln was of exceptional talent. If it would have kept the states together, I read, Lincoln said that he would not have abolished slavery. I do know many multi-ethic people were concerned for the Obama family safety, with good reason. I still have moments when I wonder if he will live through his term of office or terms, if re-elected.

Even more so than our President, Michelle Obama's story could inspire generations of children. She would be the first to agree: no way a poor, black girl could grow up to be First Lady and that is exactly what happened. Too bad Brown did not live to see an impossible dream become reality.

Quotes from, I Feel Good: A Memoir of a Life of Soul by James Brown as told to Marc Eliot.

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