You know the song Buffalo Soldier, by Bob Marley and the Wailers?
"There was a Buffalo Soldier
In the heart of America
Stolen from Africa, brought to America
Fighting on arrival, fighting for survival"
It's a true and terrible story.
Yet we dance to it, singing along in joy.
Art did that. Turned a nauseatingly horrific truth and created beauty out of it. Maybe because it's the only way to digest such pain?
Humans NEED art. We need it as a way to process all of the beauty and the atrocities that come with being human.
We need it as a tool to share emotions with the world, to share knowledge, and to share truth. Also to bring joy, feeling and life.
I was struck to the core the other night when I heard Buffalo Soldier performed live by The Wailers. It's been haunting me ever since.
"Stolen from Africa... Fighting for survival"
Feel that today.
Juneteenth is a day that is celebrated because it marks the day that more than 250,000 enslaved African Americans in Texas were liberated.
Because 2 years AFTER the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 250,000 African Americans were still unlawfully enslaved. It took a battalion of Union troops to enter Texas and announce that by executive decree, they were now free.
(If you want a short article about this history, you can find one here.)
Notice the art around you every day. What is teaching you? What is it making you feel?