Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Black History Month

Yes, it exists in France.  I think.  Actually I'm not even really sure.  But I do know that last night a few of my friends and I attended an American-soul/operatic celebration of Black History Month in a small Alsatian town, approximately 45 minutes outside of Strasbourg.  Bribed by the American Embassy with free transportation and hints at hors d'œuvres (read: champagne), we thought, "pourquoi pas?"  In true American fashion we arrived at the cultural center of Fülfenhagenahëanwhöanen (this is not the actual name of the town) in a charter bus big enough for 60 people (there were 10 of us) which was longer than 5 French cars and probably created more carbon emissions in one night than a French person does in a whole year.  We didn't hate it.  After all, what better way to rep' the Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave than to roll up in a needlessly large vehicle that takes up the whole street?  

The evening's performance was given by Mr. Kevin Maynor, and featured the ivory-ticklin' piano skillz of the blush-sporting Mr. James Olsen.  Mr. Maynor delivered song after song, inspirational quote after inspirational quote, video clip after video clip, long into the night--even after the management had subtly hinted at an imminent end to the art by turning on the auditorium lights.  As I watched Kevin wave his arms and point fingers at the crowd as he shouted his passionate speeches (in English), I was reminded of videos I've watched of dictators giving similar discourses at rallies in languages I can't understand and realized how scary this must be for the audience of francophones.  At this point I quietly laughed, causing the old French man to my right to turn to me and wink.  (This never happens in France!)  Proof! once and for all that Black History Month really does bring people together, albeit in sometimes unconventional ways.  

Kevin Maynor, Pure Bass

Don't worry, I'm not going to include "Black History Month" by Death from Above in this post.


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