Raffeal At 18: A Conversation
Today, I’m grieving. Grief can be quite messy. Fear, confusion, pain, anger, sadness, and loneliness seem to conspire together to ambush me at any given moment. With time, you learn to take the blows in order to recapture your strength. I can honestly say, I’ve found myself forgetting who I’m called to be.
I’ve always been an archivist and a historian at heart; fascinated with the past. In the past, God’s presence forever dwells, departed loved ones are alive, and true identities are yearning to be reclaimed. I often find myself wanting to forsake the present just for a moment to reside there. If you sit around me for a while, I will probably ask you if you journal. I believe in it so much. Your history has the power to resuscitate you. It’s quite powerful.
Yesterday, i stumbled upon some old home videos of myself at 18. I had no idea how much I needed to hear his words. I believe that God resurrected this video in efforts to remind me of His faithfulness and to aid me in mourning forward. He wanted me to listen to my teenaged self in order to reclaim myself.
I could pick this video a part, pointing out every flaw, but I can’t. His heart is too big. This kid wars tenaciously. He is suspended in wonder. He unapologetically loves God and his family. I am reminded that beneath all of these layers, that I now have, that kid still lives inside of me.
She’s one of the innovators of Rock n Roll. She has influenced Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley….but not many know about her. Do yourself a favor and hip yourself to Sister Rosetta Tharpe! Sister ROSETTA WAS BAD!!!
At the 26th Grammy Awards, 25 Year old singer, songwriter, humanitarian, dancer, entertainer, “The King of Pop,” Michael Jackson, won a record of 8 Grammys the night of Feb. 28, 1984 for his best selling album of all time worldwide, Thriller:
Album of the Year — Thriller
Record of the Year — Beat It
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male — Thriller
Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male — Billie Jean
Best R&B Song (awarded to songwriter) — Billie Jean
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male — Beat It
Best Video Album — Thriller
Best Recording for Children — E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Check out the KING taking EVERY award in the building. He probably should have just stayed on the stage the entire night:
Famous contralto, Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Feb. 27,1897. According to music critic, "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty." She was a prominent figure against racial inequality in the mid twentieth century.
Click Here to read more about Marion Anderson
Marian was denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall by the DAR because of her color. Instead, and at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes permitted her to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939.
Check out this 1939 Newsreel provided by UCLA:
In 1964, former boxer and three-time Heavy Weight Champion, Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) defeats Sonny Liston at 22 years of age. In 1965, they had a rematch and Muhammad Ali put the smack down for the second time! Both fight, were by far, the most anticipated events in sports history.
Click here to read up on these great moments in history.
Check out the full fight in 1964:
Check out the full remach fight in 1965:
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince won the 1st ever “Best Rap Performance Award” at the Grammys for their single, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The nominees included some 1st generation luminaries: LL Cool J (“Going Back To Cali”), Salt N Pepa (“Push It”), Kool Moe Dee (“Wild Wild West”), and J. J. Fad (“Supersonic” produced by Dr. Dre).