Lift Every Voice and Sing

J. Rosamond Johnson wrote the music for Lift Every Voice.
Photo: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
James Weldon Johnson referred to his song as the “Negro National Hymn.”
Photo: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
So, the white, middleclass Saint Paul Unitarians scored a point on Sunday. They played “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” We used to sing that in All Saints Catherdal School, in the church build in 1850 of stones used as ballast in slave ships in Saint Thomas, USVI. Lorna, the music teacher, playing the organ from the balcony, and a church full of students, descendants of slaves, belting it out. I had forgotten the name of the song, and don’t think that I have heard it since.
At the end of the service, I went through the line, was at the end of the line actually, and told the ministers about this, and how the kids in the Virgin Islands called it the “black national anthem.” The female minister replied “that’s because it is the black national anthem.”
And, I saw a coyote today. I was driving back from somewhere on the backside of the old Towne and Country Country Club. At first, I thought it was a dog, then I thought, wait, no it looks more like a wolf. But it couldn’t have been a wolf. Maybe a coyote? I turned around and came back to confirm. “It” was still standing there. A coyote.

Essential Minnesota

Liam Fourth Grade Art
Liam’s Essential Minnesota

Scanned this art project of Liam’s. It is actually a piece of wood. It is displayed here with his permission. How does he see the world? How does he see the state? How can he express what he sees of the world, the state, the state of the world?
I went to my first appointment with Dr. Hruby, the osteopath. I was referred to him by my sister-inlaw, who is a costume designer for dancers, many who see this doctor. I have had to wait for over a year to get in for an appointment. Most of the visit was spent with me lying on my back and he having his hands pressed in under my back. It felt like a deep, slow-motion massage. I am beginning to realize now that I am quite tired, perhaps from that.

Last Day of Vacation–Back to School, Work

Drawing Madeline made for me for Christmas
Madeline’s Family Portrait

The other night, Dorothea and I ended up watching a segment on C-SPAN concerning amputee American soldiers being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The soldiers interviewed were articulate and certain that the U.S. is doing the right thing. The show had credibility being on C-SPAN. Poignant seems to be the word.
And several other things that we have watched are the DVD The Ice Storm and a bit of the TV movie Vertical Limit. On top of which, there was an Andy Warhol exhibit of car wrecks at the Walker when I was there the other day. And the weather has been icy here. So thoughts of “ordinary tragedies” have been on my mind—a car wreck here will mess you up just as surely as a car bomb over there. Anyway, feeling vulnerable.
Father Injured By Hockey Puck Declared Brain Dead.” He was hit with a puck just below the ear during a hockey game, an injury quite similar to that of Thomas, and circumstances seem similar too, in that I’d guess he was having a good time, doing something that he loved when it happened. Can well imagine the whole hospital thing, the brain death certification, the organ donation bureaucracy. Rare, but quite similar.
Also led me to think of the news coverage. I didn’t find any news report of Thoms’ death. Perhaps that is a good thing. I just Googled his name—mostly came up with emails about humus. Then, I got distracted and Googled “David Schons.” Got: bicycle racing; furniture refinishing; Least Cost Optimization for the Petfood Industry—an article; Rabbit Dictionary for use on Palm OS; Golf In Luxembourg; 2005 Heart of the Beast Mayday Parade; a reference to the dragonfly blog.
The other day when I was writing about my trip to the Walker I noted that I had invested a considerable amount of time in editing. Well, I invested a bit more when I also got around to checking for XHTML compatibility. I failed on things like the Google link to the Star Tribune’s article about the Walker, and on MT Blogroll. Other people’s code. Don’t know what to do about that.
Mary and Colleen stopped by. They are on their way to Brazil for a year where Colleen will be doing ethnomusicology research on a Fullbright scholarship. The city where they will be was a prime slave-trading port, so I can’t help but think of St. Thomas, where I did my first year of teaching in the early 1990s—it was also a major slave-trading port. Very African.