Topics: music

Topics: music

“Learning from the Blues People”

November 4, 2018

At the UU General Assembly in June 2015 (in Portland, Oregon), Cornel West delivered the Ware Lecture. It was a rousing talk, and he had much to say in appreciation of Unitarian Universalism’s justice efforts. One of the intriguing bits of advice the Dr. West gave, at least to my ears, was that Unitarian Universalists “should learn from the blues people”. West has written (in Democracy Matters) that we should “learn from the blues people how to keep alive our democratic energies” in difficult times. He wrote, “In the face of cynical and disillusioned acquiescence to the status quo, we must draw on the tragicomic”. He talks about “the black invention of the blues in the face of white supremacist powers.” West tells us to listen to the people who formed their music on “the night side of America”—music that is “open to people of all colors”—music that “expresses righteous indignation with a smile and deep inner pain without bitterness or revenge”. Further recommended viewing: Cornel West’s Ware Lecture: click here
Selected blues videos shown after the November 4 service: click here