I had a surprisingly emotional reaction watching “The Sound of Music” movie recently on TV. It reminded me of the wisdom of my late dad, Dr Rev Lloyd E. Marcus.
Our black family of Mom, Dad, three younger siblings and me lived in the Baltimore projects. The atmosphere of our neighborhood was tough and violent. Our apartment was on the 6th floor. We were only allowed to play in the courtyard on our floor, rather than down on the street level playground infected with drugs and thugs.
When Dad broke the racist color-barrier to become a Baltimore City firefighter, we moved out of the projects.
In 1965, Dad took us four kids to see a movie we had not heard of, “The Sound of Music”. I believe he wanted to broaden our horizons. I don’t remember my sister or two brothers being particularly impressed.
I was blown away. The wonderful music and elegant production impacted me greatly. Mother Abbess singing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” was one of my favorite scenes. I remembered every song after leaving the theater, probably the only kid from the projects overheard singing, “Edelweiss.” Puzzled kids in our black neighborhood routinely asked, “What are you singing?”
White liberals, while claiming to be advocates for black empowerment, are obsessed with trying to keep blacks in a little black box. White liberals deem certain behaviors impermissible for blacks while whites are free to have varying interests and tastes. God forbid that a black prefer sushi over fried chicken, country music over rap or vote Republican rather than Democrat.
White sports media trashed black NFL quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson for not behaving black enough. Who died and made arrogant racist white liberals the final authority to dictate authentic acceptable black behavior?
Dad nurtured our gifts, attending every sports or performance event, always encouraging his kids to be all they could be. After my family went to bed, I painted pictures using leftover house paints. Dad carted my paintings to art galleries, seeking their critic. The consensus was, “He has talent. Send him to art school.”
Dad drove me through upscale white neighborhoods, instructing, “If you go to college and develop your talent, you can live like this.” I became an award-winning graphic designer at WJZ-TV, ABC affiliate in Baltimore. Dad was awesome! My siblings and I were blessed to have a real man in our lives.
I feel like singing,“The hills are alive with the sound of music…”