Anyone who knows me knows how much I value Freedom of the Spirit. And I will defend mine as the Gladiator for without it I would rather die. But I believe the Price of Freedom of the Spirit is Honor and Dignity.
Youssou Ndour is a friend, fellow countryman, and one of the best ambassadors of Senegal, at least on the artistic front. One of the things that it is important to understand about my country is that we are a deeply religious country, committed to our Sufism, which has allowed us to be one of only two African nations never to have experienced a coup or civil war since Independence.
What do I love so much about the man? He is serious about Peace, real Peace, Love, real Love, and a Better World For Women. I love the fact he decided to stay home, in Senegal and prove that it is definitely possible to be a gigantic international star, straight from Africa! Most of us in Senegal feel that we are blessed with a “gene” of Peace, Tolerance and Love, that preserved us throughout times.
This is one my favorite songs from him, and you guessed it, it is all about LOVE. Part of the song goes like this:
“Love is so good
I love you, and no one can extinguish that fire
Love, Love, O Love
Love is the making of God
Love comes out of a heart and goes into another heart
Love: no one can sell it and no one can buy at the market
Any two people you see, love binds them and God puts its blessing on it
Love has no religion
Love has no color for in the world of Love, there is no black person, and no white person”
We Senegalese Sufis are consumed with Peace, Tolerance and Love, when it is all said and done.
Although anyone with any intelligence knows that skin color is a perfectly arbitrary aspect of any human being, most people, including a remarkable number of educated people, seem to speak and act as if skin color was important.
For that reason, I am always glad to see civilized examples of black people, especially black men, that I can respect. In the world of black male musicians, Jason Derulo stands out not only for being a great singer and musician, but also for combining sexual cool with grace, elegance, and dignity.
His music video of “Watcha Say” is a great example of this. The setting is casual and middle class, rather than snooty or elitist, and yet at the same time everything about Jason and the setting is clean, almost preppie. The dancing is at once sexy and respectful, no “booty-dancing” crap, his jewelry is appealing but not ostentatious. No bling-bling. And I love his watch and “bracelet”! He has none of the ghetto language that most black male musicians use (no N word, no cursing…), and yet his musical style is as cool and contemporary as is that of the hottest hip hop artists.
The best way to transform perceptions of black men is not to shout about racism; it is for talented men like Jason Derulo to show how they can combine being manly and desirable with being caring, decent to women, and elegant.
Ladies, this is a guy to go for!!! I am already off the market :) !