Wednesday, December 03, 2008

RIP: Odetta


Dawn Fortune said...

I saw the news this morning and thought of you. I wanted to reach out right away with a note or a kind word, but somehow that seemed awkward. Where I am in Maine, there are not a lot of people of African heritage, so I am extra sensitive about how I act and behave so as not to give offense. My first thought was "Oh, what a loss. I bet Ms. McDonnell will have something special on her blog. I wonder if I should... nah, too weird, too awkward..." so I didn't.

I love where I live, but it limits my experiences in large ways sometimes. There is much I do not know and many roads that I don't know how to navigate. I don't like being awkward and clumsy, but I know of no other way to learn how to do things.

I'll leave it at this. I am sorry for the loss of Odetta. For you, for me, for the world, and for women of every color who looked to her for inspiration and hope.

Blessed be.

Carole McDonnell said...

Hi Dawn:

Yes, I really cried and cried about that one. And am getting all set to cry again at your post. It's weird what brings tears and how much. Somehow whenever an older black woman or a great heroine dies I become a bowl of jelly. I just think the world has lost so much when they go. Plus I kinda get them all mixed up with my grief for my mother. So it's not entirely sane.

Wow, I'd hate to live in a place where I am so aware of my race. I know that it's beautiful but wow, what a burden! I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in NYC and now live in a multiculti neighborhood in the suburbs of NY. My neighbors on this block are Guatemalan, African-American, Italian, Mixed, Cambodian, Ecuadorean, Laotian-Chinese, Jamaican, Pakistani, Goan, Arab. We all get along. And people take each other as they find them.

I doubt I could live in any place which is primarily one ethnic group. I'm too easily stressed. My character in one of my WIP's falls in love with a country boy in the middle of upstate NY country. She will definitely have issues. But I feel that a part of me always loved cowboys and rural stuff so character will have to get her act together.


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