Thursday, February 28, 2008

Walking My Baby Back Home

video
The previous post about the movie "Boycott" and its use of Nat King Cole's song reminded me of this:from 5/16/06 from pseudo-intellectualism but with google video version above, and a larger, more visible one still linked

On one of Dave Caros' escapades in 1920 Harlem took him to the home of D'Lelia Walker ( Odelia Packer in the book, "Dave At Night").The map shows how far he ventured. Actually in the book, Odelia's chauffeur drove Dave and his fake Grandpa Solly there. Dave was in love with Odelia's daughter, Irma Lee. While at the mansion he met the great Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas. This was an inspiration for Dave's budding art career. In life imitating "art", Gail Carson Levine's father would later become a successful commercial artist and Gail and her sister have artistic skills as well. Here's a slide show I put together about the Walker's with selected images from a great resource, the book "Harlem Lost and Found." The music is Noble Sissle's 1920 era "Camp Meeting Blues." Here's part of an interview that D'lelia's great grandaughter, A'lelia Bundles, did with with Jerry jazz on this site: JJM: As an introduction to Madam C.J. Walker -- your great great grandmother -- the writer Ishmael Reed wrote, "Madam Walker is the key to understanding her generation. She had to battle the society who had consigned her to doing its laundry, yet she triumphed to become one of the most fabulous African American figures of the twentieth century." Madam Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, was orphaned at a very early age. What characteristics did she possess that allowed her to turn her vulnerability as an orphan into resolve and resilience? AB: One explanation is that she was a genius. In every generation there are geniuses like Henry Ford or Bill Gates or Andrew Carnegie, so let's use that characterization as the headline. In addition, she was a very resilient child. There are many children of poverty who overcome very difficult circumstances, and in a family where everyone doesn't succeed, sometimes there are children who possess the resilience necessary to turn the difficulties into positives. Because she had so much loss in the early part of her life -- including the death of her parents -- rather than being beaten down by it, it made her a fighter."

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