Black History Month is like Valentine’s Day: why have a specific time dedicated to something you should appreciate every day? Each year, BHM is such a non-event to me because I never hear much about it, so often forget it. Tragic. It nearly happened again this year, but thankfully I remembered in the nick of time – and on the day which is actually a bonus! Any other year, the boat would have long sailed. But not this year. We have Leap Year.
There is so much to discuss; so many angles of a complicated and varied people that I thought only something simple would do. I decided to pick a clip from the Alvin Ailey dance company – a pas de deux called “Fix Me, Jesus”. I first saw the Alvin Ailey dance company in New York as a college student. It was my first ballet, and I’ve since tried to catch them every chance I get. “Fix Me, Jesus” is part of the Revelations suite. I love it because it’s so sinuous and elegant and it conveys so beautifully the strength and grace of a people which I think is the very essence of black history. Not just for a month, but always.
By the way, you don’t need to be a theist to appreciate the power of this piece.