Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Charles Ramsey and Hood Nostalgia

When I was watching Charles Ramsey tell his story to Anderson Cooper my mother said "You know he's a cool guy and really intelligent. I'd like to sit down and talk with him" she said. "I miss meeting black men like him. When Daddy was alive..." she said trailing off. But I knew what she meant.

There's a whole spectrum of good deeds and brave men and intelligent thinkers in the ghetto who never get a chance to be seen or known outside the inner city blocks they exist in.

Philosophers and doctors. Scientists and mathematicians. Chess Masters and painters. Musicians. And hustlers . And many who possess an articulateness that is a trait of only world class story tellers. There is talent and beauty of the people down in the hood that can make your hood life safer and infintely more interesting than in the so-called secure Good Life of middle class security. And so often that talent and originality is overlooked because we see differences in each other before we look for excellence. But there is often incredible talent that we overlook when we see the traits that magnify our fears in one another.

 Next time you see someone different try to sharpen your eye, look for a glimpse of that excellence. And we know there are monsters out there but could we maybe make a world of less horror if we could but see beauty and heroism where it is -- especially when it is in front of us.

Charles Ramsay is perhaps a rough looking man without thousands of dollars of orthodontia but he tells a story like a pro. When Anderson asked if he'd be seeking the FBI reward money the man reached into his pocket and held up his paycheck. He said "Give it to them girls cuz I got a job." Heroes and storytellers and good citizens can be any shape and color just as the devils whom we fear.

I was really happy for the 'hood today. God bless those women.    

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