I had a flash back to the most important information on race that I received as a young person. It was through the mini-series, Roots. Alex Haley’s novel-turned-tv series, chronicling his own family history was such an amazing, awful, beautiful series, that I still remember pieces of it today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaIpUVD16ds
I watched Vereen for years as a dancer and was enthralled by his talent, his enthusiasm, and how he made me feel I could do anything when he flew across the floor in jazz or tap dance.
That is a gift. When someone creates their life, shares it, and somehow imparts a sense that the others in the room could become whatever they want to be … just from the inspiration of seeing them so full of life.
And so, for me, he was a symbol of freedom. I danced around the living room with him when he danced; I sang when he sang; I imagined a world as beautiful as his smile. Thank you, Mr. Vereen. You presence in this world made and makes a difference to me.