What Made Violet Turn to Violence

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Violet, never wanted to have babies. Orphaned and raised by her grandmother in rural Virginia, she was not pretty, and was willing to grab the first man who paid interest.

Joe, turned out to be that guy, and he, an older man, had ambitions of jazzing up his life by moving to Harlem New York. He had heard of the new music, JAZZ, and the emergence of African Americans, wearing expensive clothes, driving automobiles, unlike rural Virginia.

Violet followed her husband Joe to Harlem. They lived not in a spacious farm house, but in an apartment building, with screams emitting from every which way. Violet adjusted, became a hair dresser, while Joe sold cosmetics, from house to house.

This particular day, Joe spotted a light skin younger woman in one of his customer’s houses. The attraction was instant, her name was Dorcas, and she was flirtatious.

Violet had distanced herself…

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What Made Violet Turn to Violence

 

Violet, never wanted to have babies. Orphaned and raised by her grandmother in rural Virginia, she was not pretty, and was willing to grab the first man who paid interest.

Joe, turned out to be that guy, and he, an older man, had ambitions of jazzing up his life by moving to Harlem New York. He had heard of the new music, JAZZ, and the emergence of African Americans, wearing expensive clothes, driving automobiles, unlike rural Virginia.

Violet followed her husband Joe to Harlem. They lived not in a spacious farm house, but in an apartment building, with screams emitting from every which way. Violet adjusted, became a hair dresser, while Joe sold cosmetics, from house to house.

This particular day, Joe spotted a light skin younger woman in one of his customer’s houses. The attraction was instant, her name was Dorcas, and she was flirtatious.

Violet had distanced herself from Joe, had several miscarriages, and Joe was looking for someone to love.

Dorcas within a year got tired of Joe, and wanted someone her age to eat drink, and dance at the Jazz clubs; she gave Joe the heave ho! Joe could not take it, and arrived at the place of meeting, and shot Dorcas, where she bled to death.

Violet did not know of the affair, and came to the funeral parlor with a knife, walked over to the corpse, and slashed the dead Dorcas’s face, uttering the words, “he is mine!”.

The foregoing is a brief summary of African American scholar, Toni Morrison’s novel “JAZZ”, now a play at Center Stage, Baltimore through June 25, 2017.

Why Ms. Morrison named her novel Jazz, is hard to comprehend. Jazz is spontaneity, self creativity. Is that what Violet showed, slashing a dead corpse?!

Budding social scientists should find this fodder for their theses. Violet was dark, Joe was enthralled with the light skinned woman, who was more coyish, “jazzy”, an eye opener for the black man in the 1920’s, and the same now. Today, its Kevin Hart, John Legend, J-Z, Eddie Murphy. It is even more tumultuous today, with the African American woman being afforded more high end job opportunities, albeit, less competitive (Baltimore States Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, an exception) to the establishment, there is a glut of them, over 50 single, and “jazzing” up their lives with sons of their former slave owners. The African American man not as valuable as he once was.Leon Anderson Brown (Joe)On the left Dorcas; on the right Violet.

This idea of killing your lover in cold blood is an adopted idea by the African American community, like so many acts and habits we have co-opted in our lives.

Overcoming a Speech Impediment

Linda photo

LINDA MAY HAN OH

marilyn-monroe

Actress Marilyn Monroe

James Earl Jones

Actor, James Earl Jones

 

It is described as a condition caused by nervousness or by a physical problem. In some cases it is literally a lisp. How does such a person overcome pronouncing words with “S” sounds? Some therapists recommend, deep breathing, or blowing the words out. It takes practice, until it becomes second nature, and that tongue and teeth combination become melodious.

Some famous persons have “overcome”. African American actors, Samuel Jackson, James Earl Jones, Television Icon Barbara Walters, and Actress Marilyn Monroe. I remember country singer Mel Tillis; I was in shock to hear him speak, but what a difference when he sang!

While some folks are engaging in divisiveness, others are following the path of inclusiveness. It is an admirable position to be in when a musician on the rise to fame pays tribute to those who are not so famous, but are affected by a “speech impediment”.

Linda May Han Oh, was born in Malaysia, and raised in Perth, Western Australia. Her musical education took her to New York, where she was consumed with playing the bass, both upright and electric. Most of her music seemed to appeal to the surreal, the necessity to close your eyes and feel, not to necessarily verbalize, but utter sounds, a though you are a mute, enduring a speech impediment, i.e. abstract art in music.

The Chamber Jazz Society of Baltimore, invited Linda and her group to demonstrate this art form using the genre of jazz, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. To bask in the Malaysian sun, to feel the trepidation the South American native facing the cold winds of Peru.

Her new album is entitled WALK AGAINST THE WIND. Welcome to the world of empathy. Join hands to help in overcoming the impediment in whatever form it presents itself.