‘How We Got Over’ features 24 narratives of mid-20th-century life in a Louisiana town.
The African American Museum at Fair Park will host a meet-and-mingle session with the editors of How We Got Over: Growing up in the Segregated South on Feb. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.
Helen Benjamin, a retired educator and current higher education consultant, and Jean Nash Johnson, a former writer and editor for The Dallas Morning News, will sign copies of the book, which was released in December. Both live in the Dallas area.
Erykah Badu’s 1997 debut album Baduizm sold millions, ignited the neo-soul movement and turned the singer from South Dallas into a global star.
Yet in hindsight, it’s remarkable the record ever came out.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Baduizm, an album that had zero in common with other bestselling records by female artists at the time.
Badu didn’t have a big, melodramatic voice like Celine Dion or Toni Braxton. She didn’t make frothy dance pop ala the Spice Girls or angsty alt-rock like Alanis Morissette.
What she had was a vision: Music that was soulful, playful and deep, with one foot planted in hip-hop and the other in Zen philosophy.
While her colleagues gravitated toward bling and braggadocio, Badu served up mysticism and rationalism. Not Buddhism. Baduizm.
As a first year, second semester student, I had transferred from Texas Southern University and enrolled at Arlington State College for the spring semester, January 1963.
The initial integration of ASC took place with students from my graduating class of James Madison High School. I knew all the freshman students from Madison who desegregated. There were also some students from Fort Worth schools in attendance.
The school’s White parents and students, as well as White citizens who opposed desegregation of the college staged protests at the college. I viewed my role as a second semester freshman student of having to finish clearing the rugged, bigoted, racial trail. I thought all of the heckling, screaming, racial slurs and penny tossing would be over by the second semester – but it continued. I quickly found out that the resentment, intimidation, threats and veiled hostile environment remained.
In the first episode of “Bel-Air,” a wide-eyed Will arrives at a neoclassical estate, its private driveway lined with picturesque palm trees and luxury cars. As he stands amid the grand foyer’s artworks and double staircase, he’s asked if he’s all right after everything that’s happened.
“It’s all good, Aunt Viv,” he responds with a smile and an eye roll. “I got in one little fight and my mom got scared.”
That throwaway line is an unmistakable wink at fans of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” who will immediately recognize those words from the still-syndicated sitcom’s earworm of a theme song. But it hits different in “Bel-Air,” where — by this point in the episode — viewers will have watched Will endure a near-fatal brawl, a night in jail and the fearful scolding of his mother, who sends the West Philadelphia teenager to live with estranged, wealthy relatives on the other side of the country.
Stretching those seconds-long lyrics into a 15-minute opening sequence — after which the title appears in glistening, golden, graffiti-less letters — is an up-front declaration: “Bel-Air” is not just another reboot of a well-known TV show. While recent re-inventions rest on replicating familiar formats, regurgitating subplots or recasting actors to reprise their roles, the Peacock series, which premieres Super Bowl Sunday, is a top-to-bottom reimagining of the story told on a ’90s sitcom.