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The Grammys Prove That Our Worst Days Are Ahead and It’s So Fucking Sad

So, yeah, I watched The Grammys because I always have and even though to be honest — the past couple of years have served as an annoying reminder that I’m becoming a middle-aged grump who has no clue why Taylor Swift is so revered (actually I do know and that’s the annoying part), I still can’t stop tuning in.

I love music. My childhood was built around my lovingly conceived soundtrack. Growing up in Nigeria, during the turbulent eighties — there were two things that kept me sane — books and music. I guess because both mediums gave me the tools I needed to create the life I wanted then and the one I wanted in the future.

From the very start — my mind has always been a twirling wind of snapshots, and with the help of ABBA, Boney M, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Prince, David Bowie, Lisa Lisa and The Cult Jam, Elton John, Tracy Chapman and a slew of others, I was able to embrace those emotions that grab hold just as the verse leading to the chorus makes its valiant appearance.

As luck would have it — I wasn’t the only one who lived and breathed the melodious ecstasies of my time. Music was also a huge comforter in boarding school, as me and my mates would scramble to find the tapes that housed the tracks that nobody had heard yet.

Yes, tapes, I know — that was a long ass time ago. And even though “downloading” sounds so much cooler— I do miss those times of hard discovery. When it took effort to unearth a gem. There was a sense of pride and accomplishment that came with that achievement. I also miss holding things that represent something as opposed to relying on the manifestation of iCloud.

The excitement and fellowship that was born out of our love for music and our hunger to be connected with the vibes that took us from Sweden to America are some of my most fondest memories of playful sisterhood.

In my mind — music was a unifying force that could break barriers because race and religion don’t have the power to convince your senses that what you’re listening to doesn’t deserve your attention.

No matter how much of a bigot you are — if you hear good music — you will answer the call. That awesome rapper or undeniably talented country singer will move you in ways that you can’t deny — no matter how hard you resist.

This disposition sustained me when I was sequestered at a two-year women’s in the Midwest that was ninety percent white and three percent black. I made the most of it for as long as I could which was about a semester and a half.

But while I was there — I was forced to bond with the young women around me. Aside, from their fascination with the concept that I grew up in Africa and sounded British, we managed to find a common bond that grew from our obsession with music.

Thanks to them — I learned to adore Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Depeche Mode and The Cure. I shared my European/African infused catalogue, which they happily digested.

Once again, music rescued me from oblivion and gave me a reason to discover that even though the prospect of being around mostly white women was a bit daunting — not because I disliked the idea but mainly because I wasn’t sure what the effects of that would produce down the line — there was a commonality that was porous enough to diffuse my doubts and concerns.

But here I am years later — a day after watching what used to be one of my favorite award shows and I have to admit defeat.

We are supposed to be in a celebratory mood thanks to the glorious and visually stimulating offering rendered by the man of the moment — Kendrick Lamar. We were still reeling from the intensity of another formidable talent who schooled us on why being in Formation isn’t just a Bey thing — it’s a Black thing.

Kendrick used his platform to captivate stunned onlookers who may or may not understand the facts of life in America as they pertain to people of color. It was a vividly impeccable performance — stewed in diagnosed upheaval, with flecks of brutality mixed in for added measure.

Like most, I was glued to the screen and didn’t catch my breath until Lamar and his warriors were long gone.

I wanted so badly to cheer and feel the sense of entitlement that people of color rarely have the pleasure of indulging in. The image of the map of Africa hitting the screen, showcasing Compton, secured in one of its slots, is now embedded in memory.

It was a historic moment and it had to be done. The times we live in call for such a bold statement and nobody was more prepared to take the reins than Kendrick Lamar (I love saying his name).

I definitely don’t take issue with what he did and how he did it. It’s the fact that it needed to be done. We have evolved into a nation that has openly embraced the realization that racism is the only truth that unites us.

Not even the life affirming persuasions of music — past and present — can save us or shift the sliding landscape to solid ground.

To watch an industry that celebrates what supposedly used to hold us together, that breeds the artists that come together to save starving children all over the world or raise awareness about incurable diseases — eventually become the required venue for the storm of discontent that reflects our adherence to mutual hatred — is fucking sad.

It is a searing reminder that the worst is yet to come. We will never reach that mountaintop and award shows should probably be extinct because it has now become the preferred way to exchange points of view that only encourage more racial loathing.

We delightfully can’t stand each other and as much as I want to continue to stand up and fight for equality — I am in disarray over the fact that getting older also translates to — enlightenment.

And that’s even sadder.

Written by

Juggling Wordsmith. I have a lot to say! https://medium.com/membership https://www.patreon.com/Ezziegirl

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