And just like that it’s all white again. The ground, that is. Thin layer of snow pausing all the springy growth that just began to get some traction. Soon’s we came in from recess and the other group filled our space the wind-blistered air we were just sucking in during our distance-appropriate football game was, too, filled with something new. Sheets and sheets of white. It takes a while for the season’s gears to be fully engaged and momentum allowed.
I talked a bit this morning with my students about last night’s Grammys. They knew my girl Phoebe took home no hardware and offered some condolences – I maybe talk about my artistic inclinations a bit much. And then the discussion segued into us creating a list based on a TickTock I was shown of the kids getting a few minutes a day to teach me about what 5th graders know about that I do not. Mincraft, Harry Styles, and a host of Youtubers, whatever exactly that is. I told them they could practice their teaching and speaking skills whilst making me less of a boomer and, thus, more able to relate to them. It was fun. We have a student with admitted racist tendencies and that made the discussions more lively (everything was respectful) and helped the conversation eventually steer back to the Grammys.
I grew up on the street I teach on and as far as diversity goes, the area is the same. We are a diverse community. So I watched people from all walks last night do their thing. I know very little of the songs they played. I haven’t listened to actual music since probably after they ran out of new Nirvana to play, so it’s been a while. I went through a major snob period surrounding art back then, but have come to really appreciate anyone who can create and use their gifts to enrich the cultural collective for a living.
The seasons take a while and today’s whitewash was proof. The diversity last night didn’t shock me because of where I grew up, but after today’s ten year old talk, I was pretty proud of the awards show. Sure, I got my biggest kick when one of my current musical heroes actually got to play on stage AND receive an award for his work with Taylor Swift and all of that is pretty white, but I was also moved and excited by so many different cultural moments. To see the staging and hear the lyrics broadcast worldwide after the summer, the year, the century we’ve had, in retrospect, was nothing short of beautiful. I don’t have to download all of the Baby-centric tunes, be it Da or Lil, to understand the gravity of some of the things I saw and heard. While Megan Thee Stallion beat my girl out, and I really only know her songs from the Ticktocks, I could feel the importance of empowerment surrounding her whole thing and it was palpable and I was really happy for her.
These people are very talented, yes, but the work they have put in to get where they were last night, some of them with roads inconceivable to someone as lucky as me, really overwhelmed me as the kids (most of them) spoke about the artists as if all of them were the same color and race. Yes, the snow came and covered everything up again and with it the air turned bitter and mean, again. But the gears are turning. Growth cannot be stopped.
(Side note – Silk Sonic is going to be ridiculously fun)