Hello, JassOdyssey fans. Spring is trying to make its presence here in Richmond, VA, though last night we did get a dusting of snow. But that won’t dampen our spirits because we know that the warm weather will be here soon. We are looking forward to the Kensington Day of the Book Festival that will be held in Kensington, Maryland on April 22nd. Come on out and support the arts.
I want to give a shout out to Linwood Johnson–he was the one who gave us the correct answer to our last question about the comeback queen: What was the name of the ‘street urchin’ dancer and singer that Park musically accompanied while in a nightclub in St. Louis? He knew that it was Freda McDonald, who later became famously known as Josephine Baker. Not only was the character featured in Book Two, but also will appear in Book Five–as well as Book Seven. I’m currently researching her as we speak. A good book that I would recommend you to read is Paris Noir, written by Tyler Stovall. It describes the life of African Americans who became expatriates and moved to Paris during the twentieth century. They include not only Josephine Baker but also Ada “Bricktop” Smith, Claude McKay, and others. Did you know that at one time, both Langston Hughes and James Baldwin resided in ‘the City of lights (Hughes lived in the Montmartre section, while Baldwin lived in the Left Bank region of the city).
We’re having fun writing this JassOdyssey series. Not only can the books be purchased at our website, but also at Amazon and B&N. We recently found out that the book series is also being sold at one of the largest independent bookstores in Washington DC–Politics and Prose, located on Connecticut Avenue, NW. We are pursuing other independent bookstores.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to Howard University and its students. A few years before I attended the school, the students had their first sit in on campus at the ‘A’ (administration) building (1968 during the Viet Nam War). They were upset that ROTC was on campus, and that the university was not offering any African American Studies courses. Boy, have times changed,.. well some. Not only can you get a graduate degree in African American Studies there, but I recently spoke with a young Pharm D student who attends Howard, and she was born in Viet Nam. But ROTC is still on campus. Speaking of Howard U, Donald Byrd, the famous jazz trumpeter was an instructor there (just like Cyrus Chestnut the prodigy piano player is an instructor there). I recently heard a song written by Donald Byrd that I haven’t heard since I walked the campus of those hallowed grounds. It’s called “Eldorado,” from the album BlackJack. I’ve supplied a link to it below; Hope you enjoy. I forgot to mention that in our JassOdyssey series, we mention over 15 HBCUs as Miles and Roland (and Park and Marie) travel across this vast country.
This week’s question is: What was the name of the trombone player that Park and Marie met while they were in Albuquerque, New Mexico? As he learned–never mess with Marie if you expect to stay alive. If you like our blog, share it with others.
As Always-Take the Test, Take the Journey!
J. A. Rollins