June, a beautiful month with a new holiday, an official start to summer, weddings, great music in recognition of African American Music Month—it was supposed to be uneventful and almost boring. Instead, it’s been tumultuous, hot, iffy, unsettling, and scary.
During a recent Temptations concert we attended, the Motown legends took a break to catch their breath. The only original founding member, 81-year-old Otis Williams, sat and shared wisdom he’d gleaned over more than 50 years in show business.
He said Motown founder Berry Gordy groomed them in showmanship, etiquette, and other important stuff. He said one of the lessons they’d been taught included stay away from religion and politics in polite conversation. I learned those lessons too though I cross the line when an opportunity presents itself, like it did last week.
I’ve said it before — I believe a woman’s body is her own and what she does with it is between her and God. Here’s what I know today: if I can choose to/not to wear a mask or be vaccinated, God and I can be entrusted with this very personal decision.
After the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last week, I fully understand my thoughts bring religion and politics into an ugly marriage where there will be winners and non-winners.
It’s too early to know what other rights will be curtailed, gerrymandered, and/or toyed with next but I pray that these nine people will remember who they are, who we are, and what they said to get confirmed. People’s lives—especially women’s lives and health, are at stake.
Religion and politics cannot become a partisan end game where whichever side wreaks the most havoc wins. The adage that says an eye for an eye leave everybody blind is true. In this scenario, not only is everybody blind, but we also all lose ourselves, our humanity, and the right to choose.
In other news and observations, President Biden hastily signed the new bi-partisan gun control bill last week and while it wasn’t as comprehensive as it needed to be, it was better than nothing. For the record, however, I am not feeling safer in public spaces since there seems to be no rationale, rhyme, reason, or warning for mass shootings that occur so often they barely make the top of the news. I am grateful, however, that the word bipartisan could be used in this sentence.
African American Music Month is about to end but I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without humming “My Girl/My Guy” or a little Aretha and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” or some “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The music that I grew up on and that has been the soundtrack of our lives is still powerful, insightful, and timeless.
The music we love is familiar, even before we hear the first word. Whether it’s Lionel Richie, the Commodores, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, or Smokey Robinson, it’s hard not to sing along or pat your feet.
Songwriters are blessed and inspired by God and when they tell our stories—happy or sad ones—in three/four-minute segments, the universe rejoices. Music is our soul’s heartbeat and in good and bad times, we are soothed, inspired, and empowered by the powerful and insightful lyrics, and the melodies and memories we cherish and create. Love and enjoy your favorites this month.
July, another holiday, and National Family Reunion Month will be here soon– gather family and friends for fun and fellowship and remember to skip the politics and religion. I’m just sayin’…
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. Now listen to her new podcast, “Three Stores, Two Cotton Gins, One Remarkable Life: The Journey from There To Here,” and meet her favorite family and friends as they share laughter and heartwarming life lessons. Look for it on this page or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.