Author’s Note: I wanted to share this email that I sent to my band, Soul of Boston. It has been a devastating time for black musicians. No work and too much fear.
Last night was my all-time New Year’s Eve holiday and one profound moment.
I have watched in horror as the country became polarized into Black Lives Matter vs Support The Blue. Biden said, “to heal you must remember.” I have recognized the evil forces in America and been praying for the pendulum to swing towards an honest remembrance of our country’s past evils and a reckoning of our present evils. I continue to pray for the country to understand and support the inherent worth and dignity of every person. I have been committed to this principle my whole life.
I have been worried for all of you during this pandemic. This year of survival. Our carefully crafted place in this world where we can use our talent to make the world a better place has been stifled but not extinguished.
When I saw Lady Gaga sing the National Anthem at the Inauguration I cried.
It was at that moment that I realized how much stress, worry, and fear I had been carrying for the last four years plus. It was then that I understood how much my world and my place in that world had become horribly altered by outside forces.
When Lada Gaga walked down the steps she owned the entire Capitol. When she sang she transformed the Anthem into a message of hope, relief, strength, and humanity. I was mesmerized. How could one performance give me a better understanding of my world and give me hope for the future?
As I continued to watch the Inauguration it all started to make more sense. A President who is able to empathize with how damn hard things have been. A man who knows that the souls we lost to this horrible virus were not just numbers. A man who seemed to be committed to helping all of us get better and be better people.
A woman, a Black woman, an Asian/Black woman Vice President. A capable, intelligent, strong, dignified woman. A woman who deserved the honor more than most men. A long-overdue moment for America that seemed all but impossible for the last years, where women were degraded and referred to as “nasty people”.
Then the Super Nova—Amanda Gorman!
What a profound moment. A young, articulate, beautiful woman saying what I wish I could say. Performing as she read her art with confidence and grace. Giving notice to the world that the new generation of Americans is on the right track and can deliver a better future with grace, dignity, and love.
I saw my daughter in Amanda. I recognized the young Americans that I know and love in Amanda. This made me proud. Proud to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Proud to have a direct line of influence and connection to the salvation of our country. Proud to think that the love that I have felt and shared had become a force in young people for a better future. Proud to realize as I have felt disenfranchised over the last years that the hope, dignity, and love that must carry this Nation is in capable hands.
I am now allowing myself to feel hopeful once more.