They sing three African American spirituals. “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” is done very slowly, and you can really hear the power in the words of this often ill-used song.
“Motherless Child” I know from Richie Havens, but this version is much slower and impassioned. The chorus is much different from any version I’ve heard before.
“Ain-a That Good News” is a song I didn’t know. It has their most powerful chorus of vocals and ends the Concert in a great way.
[READ: July 6, 2016] “Telling Tales”
The May 16, 2016 issue of the New Yorker had a series called “Univent This” in which six authors imagine something that they could make go away. Since I knew many of them, I decided to write about them all. I have to wonder how much these writers had to think about their answers, or if they’d imagined this all along.
Child says that he saw his 92-year-old father who was in very poor health. Lee told him that he had been a good man (which was not true). He says that his father probably said the same thing to his own father (which may or may not have been true).
He says that it is language (and syntax and grammar) that helped us become what we are–we could now plan and theorize and speculate.
And this was all good as long as it was non-fiction. Anything that someone tells you is only as good as your belief in those words.
But then we invented fiction “We started talking about thing that hadn’t happened to people who didn’t exist. Why?”
Fiction seemed to have emboldened us. It gave us false hopes: “Don’t panic. It doesn’t always turn out bad.” Rather than knowing that the saber-toothed tiger could kill us. We said, I know a guy who outran a tiger.
And then the outrunning turned into someone defeating the tiger–the action hero!
For everyone bred to lie is another person bred to believe: “The habit of credulity, bred into us, …has led to some very bead outcomes throughout what we know of our history.”
His conclusion: “It’s ironic, given my profession, but the more I learn the more I would uninvent fiction.”