Category Archives: 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike

The Soul Will Find a Way | By Kevin Alexander Gray


The Life and Times of James Brown

 At the start of the 1960s, my father Paul moved my mom Geneva, three older brothers, younger sister and me from Boston to rural Spartanburg County in upstate South Carolina. He’d fled the South in the 1940s, enlisting in the Navy. Twenty years later, he returned to an inheritance of eleven shotgun houses and a juke joint at the foot of a hill in a tiny, segregated, one way in – one way out community called Freyline.

Gray’s Grocery was on the sign over the front door between the two round, red  Coca Cola logos, but everyone called the gathering spot “the store”. Gray’s Grocery was where all the maids, janitors, textile mill workers, field laborers, wannabe slicksters, young and old, sinners and saints met on weekends to dance, drink, gamble, talk, cuss, have an occasional scuffle, fist, gun or knife fight, and generally let it all hang out.  

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Kevin Gray on James Brown – Part 1

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG Book Promotion, 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike, American Culture, American History, Black Culture | United States, Historic Black Politics & Figures, James Brown Recognition Project, Music History, R&B, Soul, South Carolina

WAITING FOR LIGHTNING TO STRIKE ~ The Fundamentals of Black Politics

Waiting for Lightning to StrikeThere are many challenges facing African Americans. Yet many seem to lack a working, everyday understanding of the goals and dynamics of black politics. By that I mean what it does or what it is suppose to do, what is the purpose and definition of it. Or even, what, if anything, changes when a black is the head of government at any level – local, state or national, in regards to black politics.

  

Theoretically, black politics denotes the advocacy of African­-Americ­an political and economic rights. Accordingly, advancement of these rights impacts the social and psychological well being of blacks. Political scientist Rickey Hill gives the best operating definition of black politics as “…the purposeful activities of black people to acquire, use, and maintain power. The dimensions of black politics are internal and external. They characterize a struggle for power, that is, the realization and defense of black people’s interests and volition. This struggle for power reflects historical tensions and constraints between and among black people and white people. These tensions and constraints, concerning optimum strategies for control and liberation, are grounded in the dominant-dominated relationship of the two groups.” Black politics seeks to change how whites think and respond to supremacy and dispossession. 

 Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics is about the basics. But the writing is multi-stylistic in approach from the more formal academic to the loose and sometimes messy, rhythms of the everyday.

http://www.akpress.org/2008/items/waitingforlightningtostrikeakpress

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike