By William “Duke” Smither “I was the conductor of the Underground Railroad for eight years, and I can say what most conductors can’t say; I never ran my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” Harriet Tubman (a.k.a., the Underground Railroad’s “Black Moses”) A few years ago, I wrote about the […]
By William “Duke” Smither “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore…” – from “The New Colossus,” written in 1883 by Emma Lazarus (American-born, Jewish Author, and Activist), displayed on the plaque of ‘Lady Liberty’, a gracious gift from France. […]
by William “Duke” Smither “Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” – Bob Marley (a.k.a., Robert Nesta Marley, 1945–1981, Jamaican singer-songwriter, proud Rastafarian and Reggae musician extraordinaire) Gone Too Soon… Proponents of Pan-Africanism, Ethnomusicology, and Black Music in general– but Jazz, our especially expressive music with African roots, in particular— […]
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus…” Martin Luther King, Jr.
By William “Duke” Smither “If the muse were mine to tempt it And my feeble voice was strong, If my tongue were trained to measures, I would sing a stirring song. I would sing a song heroic Of those noble sons of Ham, Of the gallant colored soldiers Who fought for Uncle Sam!…” (From […]
By William “Duke” Smither “Because power corrupts, society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” (John Adams, 2nd President of the United States) National Moral Character? Lordy, Lordy! One would have had to have been born “Rip Van Winkle II,” the fictional dude who fell asleep and […]
The “‘First Lady’ of Soul” (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) “Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine… Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade — our […]