History doesn't always tell us how to get it right. It sometimes warns us of the cost of getting it wrong. Art steeped in that history, like John Lewis' graphic novel trilogy, March, can remind us, if we're paying attention.
Even though it took time and intervention for hip-hop to expand beyond the South Bronx, that may have been for the better in the long run.
Simone Manuel’s winning a gold medal in this particular Olympic swimming event in this particular summer gave the especially besieged among us a chance to take a break from the siege.
Charles Mingus and Kanye West represent an extreme form of the complicated-and-proud-of-it black man, within a society that prefers its black men as uncomplicated and untroubling as possible.
Black music's spiritual aspect may be a given, but two new books, A City Called Heaven and Spirits Rejoice! go deep into explaining how that actually happens.