Make to Let

I recommend an artistic reflection on Race presented by two singer/songwriters in the Folk tradition—Reggie Harris (Black) and Greg Greenway (White). They both grew up in Richmond, VA, and had different early experiences. Their paths finally crossed 30 years ago, and their on-going friendship has had included an on-going conversation about Race. They have turned their long-years of conversation into a story and music concert on Race. Deeper than the Skin is available on CD.

Their travel to a museum near New Orleans that witnesses to the disparity between a plantation’s enslaved owner and the imprisoned owned brought an experience in an old chapel built by freed slaves to finally have a place from which to gather and honor those who died. This one story is worth the price of the whole CD. I cannot adequately summarize it and simply commend it to you. May you someday see the artwork referred to through your imagination as you listen to the story or travel after the current quarantine.

It is easier to pass on another point of appreciation. I am acquainted with the old spiritual about letting “my little light shine.” They sang a line I hadn’t heard before:

not going to make it shine
just going to let it shine

It is very tempting to “make” my light shine brighter than any other. Higher and brighter, lighting the way—that’s my light!

This refusal to “make” contrasts with my light standing beside other lights and partnering with them that there may be a generalized brighter light shining outward. This is an important transition between “my” light and any future “our” light. The “our” is not so much constructed into a particular season of shared light, as it is a found, shared experience holistically engaged.

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