At the end of his brilliant novel, Ender’s Game, the author Orson Scott Card develops the idea of a Speaker for the Dead.
“When their loved ones died, a believer would arise beside the grave to be the Speaker for the Dead, and say what the dead person would have said, but with full candor, hiding no faults and pretending no virtues. Those who came to such services sometimes found them painful and disturbing, but there were many who decided that their life was worthwhile enough, despite their errors, that when they died a Speaker should tell the truth for them.”
Recently, we’ve been witness to the deaths of two flawed but brilliant (in their own way) men – Michael Jackson and Steve McNair. There are those who have chosen to remember only the good about each man – Michael’s musical genius, McNair’s on-field leadership and off-field charitable works. There are those who will emphasize their faults – Michael’s alleged indiscretions with children, McNair’s marital affairs.
In the wake of the over-bloated coverage of the deaths of these individuals and others who rose high and fell fast, I think each needs a Speaker for the Dead. Let us remember MJ’s musical gifts, his dancing skills, the joy he brought to millions, the children he left behind who loved him as only children can. Let us remember his questionable behavior, his run-ins with the law, the psychosis that led to his plastic surgeries. Read more about Speaker for the Dead: MJ & McNair …
Donovan McNabb’s recent comments about the extra scrutiny and pressures of being a black quarterback in the NFL touched a chord with me. I’m glad he had the courage to speak his truths to power. Too often, black athletes don’t use the podium to speak truth to power. Michael Jordan’s famous comment that “even RepublicansRead more about Twice As Good: Race Achievement in Amrika[…]
One of the more interesting aspects of some of the clubs I’ve frequented in London is the part of the night when the DJ does shoutouts to different nations – “Jamaica, make some noise!!” The Caribbean nations – Trinidad & Tobago, Granada, Jamaica, Guyana – always show up loud. But the loudest shouts usuallyRead more about London – A Nigerian Nightmare[…]
“I think it’s safe to say that these people came here today to watch a game of FOOTBALL!! FOOTBALL!!!” The immortal words of John Madden as a cartoon character on The Family Guy. Brian & I went a Superbowl Party hosted by the NFL at the Battersea Evolution in south London. The game started atRead more about Superbowl XLI at Battersea Evolution[…]