For Douglass, the failure of liberal constitutionalism to achieve its stated aim was a reason to re-state the aim more forcefully and more inclusively. Three missing sections—cut out to accommodate smaller display locations over the years—were replaced, adding nearly three thousand square feet. There are countless studies on the influence of the black church and whooping preachers; of field hollers and work songs sung under the lash in the cotton fields of Parchman Farm, the oldest penitentiary in Mississippi; of boogie-woogie piano players in the lumber and turpentine camps of Texas. Today, visitors come to these burial grounds to brush elbows with ghosts and visit historic marble tombs and crypts. Family members would seek out a juju priest, who would consult a deity, diagnose the root of the curse, and then expel it through a religious ritual.
Meanwhile, out in the hall, the audience started singing to Cohen as if to inspire him and call him back. As Faggen was shopping for cold cuts, he heard a familiar basso voice across the store; he looked down the aisle and saw a small, trim man, his head shaved, talking intently with a clerk about varieties of potato salad. Just a week after returning home, he boarded a flight to Mumbai to study with another spiritual guide. An English dentist had just yanked one of his wisdom teeth. So was Roebuck Pops Staples, the paterfamilias of the Staple Singers.
A small tractor chugged noisily by. Leonard particularly uses chord progressions that seem classical in shape. When he was thirteen, he read a book on hypnotism. Confederate losses are estimated between 24,000 and 28,000; in some regiments, numbers of killed and wounded approached 90 percent. Their deaths can be made meaningful only through a vague idea of Providence and through the persistence of a living nation. McKinnor was working as a dispatcher at I.
Although our families were neighbors, she and I rarely interacted. Roshi, who died two years ago at the age of a hundred and seven, arrived in Los Angeles in 1962 but never quite learned the language of his adoptive home. When he told me some detail of his past—hearing Sidney Bechet at a club in Paris when he was in the Army—it seemed almost illicit. He did his Charley Patton thing, cradling the guitar, playing with his teeth. She attended the San Francisco School of Fine Arts and, in 1924, moved to New York, following the early death of her mother. Lee, only a few hundred yards away, did nothing to intervene.
Other members of my generation felt similarly unsettled. Shermund was one such contributor. The second line goes from minor to major and steps up, and changes melody and variation. So one of the soldier mannequins was painted to look like him. Even my cousins who lived abroad learned that we had made it into the history books. And we finished that song and it was so good. My family sentenced him to banishment from the village.
To them it meant only one more dead nigger. The practice differed from slavery in the Americas: slaves were permitted to move freely in their communities and to own property, but they were also sometimes sacrificed in religious ceremonies or buried alive with their masters to serve them in the next life. The church was established in 1904, on land that Nwaubani Ogogo donated. Looking at an original Shermund drawing is fascinating, almost like looking at an abstract painting; her placement of lines seems at first questionable, then perfect. It was a mistake on the part of his persecutors to force him into exile, however temporary.
Like him, it is obsessed with mortality, God-infused, and funny. She embodied the reality, confounding to sexists, that a woman who looked like her could be a radical egalitarian about gender. It keeps going and going. Cohen is also very much at home in the spiritual reaches of the Internet, and he listens to the lectures of Yakov Leib HaKohain, a Kabbalist who has converted, serially, to Islam, Catholicism, and Hinduism, and lives in the San Bernardino mountains with two pit bulls and four cats. I have many resources, some cultivated on a personal level, but circumstantial, too: my daughter and her children live downstairs, and my son lives two blocks down the street.
Then a remarkable piece of good fortune came his way. Actually seven songs and I think it was Joel Dorn, who was my solo producer at the time, and Arif Mardin, God rest his soul, who said to us one day: you guys need some more songs. Just to be in that city was, for Cohen, a charged situation. The Broadway opening was cancelled. By his death, he had dozens of wives. The homage being paid seems only to embarrass him. Among his possessions, which are passed down to the head of the family, was the symbol of his alliance with Njoku: a pot containing a human head.
King in 1970 at the Place des Nations, an outdoor stadium in Montreal left over from Expo 67. His version sounds less like the prettified Jeff Buckley version than like a work by John Lee Hooker. It was winter, and Cohen thought of the gravediggers: it would be difficult to break the frozen ground. He ended up performing, often many times a day, for the troops on the front. No music is unsatisfying to me.