Just in case you forgot, February is Black History Month. This year, BHM has taken on an added significance with the historic election of Barack Obama, which has brought hope for meaningful change in society. However, it should be remembered that, to paraphrase Sam Cooke, it's been a loooo-nnng time comin', and furthermore, that some of the primary messengers of change have been black musicians.
On that note, legendary soulman (and Bay Area resident) Booker T. Jones - of Booker T. & the MGs - has posted his thoughts on BHM on Anti- Records' blog. Jones takes the opportunity to muse on everything from his grandmother's appreciation for Lizst and Debussy, to recording the million-selling "Green Onions" at age 17, to being taught "Negro History" in high school, to "walking un-accosted" with his white wife while remembering hymns sung by Mahalia Jackson and Dr. Martin Luther King, to feeling an "unreal sense of certainty" and "an awareness I had never had before" while walking in Washington DC last year. He concludes by saying, "People are awake here in America. And that is so good! Even better, the majority of these "awoken" are of a generation after mine, and so there is hope. Ah! What a word, HOPE. With hope, hearts are lighter and easier to carry. Past disappointments are easier forgotten and moved forward from. Darkened minds are lightened. Empty stomachs are filled. Life itself becomes all it is capable of being." To read Booker T.'s thoughts in their entirety, click here.