Our generation - the Hiphoppers - tend to examine the old school leaders from the perspective of, "What have you done for me lately?" & really, my peers & eye are often on one accord with this perspective. But in light of the very serious hard-to-bridge gap from civil rights to rap, it occurred to me as a humorous take on the matter, that we have all benefited greatly from the oratory skills of the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Rev. Jesse specifically contributed the words democracy, disinherited & moot ("The question is moot!") to my own "young" personal vocabulary. Surely there are more. Really...how much of his rhetoric have eye sat up under over the years? Probably enough to round the edges of my dirty South phraseology.
While these words are considered plain & common to the average American, much of what linguists consider to be "standard" vocabulary does not always penetrate Black American English dialect. The reverend's contribution to Black-talk has indeed been significant & enormous in effect.
So in addition to the frayed political legacy that rests strong in the mind of us old enough to remember the Presidential pursuits, we should categorize Reverend Jesse Jackson as one to be uplifted as a wonderful orator, following in the vein of W.E.B. Dubois & most obviously, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Even though we are still living as slaves in the 21st century, let us refrain from dwelling on Rev. Jackson's shortcomings as a leader & activist, but rather congratulate without hate. Keep the faith. Quit biting at the bait.
"Hold your head high, stick your chest out. You can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but morning comes. Keep hope alive."
--Reverend Jesse Jackson
4 years ago