Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day 9: 29 Days of Gratitude

February is African-American History Month. The impact of African-Americans on our national and local history is too often ignored or under-emphasized. The month of February helps to remind us to learn more about the entirety of our nation's history.

Both Kansas and Kansas City have been locations where African-Americans have played an important role in the history of our nation. Topeka, KS provided the Brown vs. Board of Education court case which deemed "separate but equal" to be unconstitutional. (I attended the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Brown decision a few years ago.)

Kansas City has two national treasures located right next to each other: The American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. (These museums are rated as two of the top ten Black museums in the country.) Kansas City's history boasts of some of the greatest Jazz and Blues musicians of all time. The Kansas City Monarchs were one of the most heralded of the Negro Leagues teams.

I invite you to come join me at 12:00 for a visit to the Jazz Museum in the 18th & Vine neighborhood. Or, if your afternoon is busy, maybe come in the evening to hear saxophonist Bobby Watson & the Live and Learn Band.

Practice: Take some time today to learn about local African-American history. If you can't join us at the museum, go get a book from the library and also borrow a jazz CD.

If you have a favorite book about African-American history or a favorite Jazz or Blues CD, drop me a note in the comment section.

1 comment:

RevThom said...

A family from our church joined me for an exploration of the American Jazz Museum at 18th & Vine. We also randomly ran into two other members of SMUUCh while we were there! Glen, who works for the museum, treated us to a special showing of a video explaining the history of the 18th & Vine neighborhood.

As far as the Jazz museum goes, I am now aware of how much I don't know about the history of Jazz. I really loved getting to know more about Charlie Parker. And the display about Duke Ellington was also interesting. I'm fascinated by his religious jazz pieces. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the recording of his piece "Come Sunday" to play. It is #202 in our hymnal and it is a gorgeous piece although I've yet to meet the UU congregation that can sing it!