In honor of Black History Month, which African American has personally inspired you most?

Discussion in 'V.C.'s Parlor' started by DougMen, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. Unit11

    Unit11 Squier-Meister

    Apr 28, 2018
    Providence, RI
    Robert Johnson, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters. I admittedly haven't heard much of them, but they were the pioneers, the trailblazers. Then Chuck Berry revved it up. And then Jimi Hendrix revolutionized it, inspiring a whole generation of what would come to be known as "shredders."

    Stanley Jordan took Eddie Van Halen's tapping and boosted it to a whole new level, showing us amazing new ways of tapping out whole songs like the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby."

    Tony MacAlpine is astonishing both on guitar and on the keyboard.

    All these guys, I look up to...but as far as heroes, I would have to say Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. Douglass took his freedom when society wouldn't give it to him, then became an advocate for everyone still in slavery. And Dr. King stood for peace and equality despite personal attacks, death threats and a stabbing.
  2. duceditor

    duceditor Dr. Squier

    May 29, 2014
    The Monadnocks, NH USA
    I didn't quickly respond to this thread -- that despite there being a LONG list of African American musicians whose contributions have enriched my life, and I think all of our, lives. My reason was simple: I tend to view, and to wish to view, people as simply people. The worth of their contributions and gifts is not dependent on anything but they themselves.

    But thinking further about it that is only half the story. That because what we as individuals bring is more than we ourselves. It also quite often includes the riches of our culture -- and that, in part, was formed by each of our people's unique experiences.

    This "hole" in my thinking was brought home in an odd way. By my getting a link by an old musician friend.

    He, like me, was raised in a Jewish home. His parents, like mine (actually far more than mine), still carried the voice of their roots. And he, like me, views himself really just as another American. He married a woman -- a fellow musician (as did I) -- from another birth culture. Yet, just as the artists discussed throughout this thread carry the riches of their culture -- and turned those into a gift for all of us by mixing them with their own individual talents and energies -- so have the great many others here in America, and throughout the world.

    This friend sent me the following link. A bit "chauvinistic" to me in tone. It was obviously created for 'in the group' viewing. But still, as my musician friend told me it would, some of the names really did surprise me. They're Jewish? Really?

    Uh huh.

    So, if you'll allow -- to add, not detract from the theme of valuing others that this thread encourages -- may I offer this. Where only one (I think) of the people shown is African American.

    Yup! Gotta love everybody's gifts! :)

    See if you find any surprises here. I sure did!

    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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