The deafness of Whiteness

When I was a child, my mother would sing the songs she had sung as a torch singer in the thirties. Songs like September Song, Stormy Weather, the Tin Pan Alley standards. Just now, I was reading about the disastrous family separations occasioned by the sale of slaves south to the cotton fields of the new Southwest in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas, and so forth. Thinking about the spiritual about a motherless child, it dawned on me for the first time that the motherless child sung about was a slave child, sold away from his family, a long way from home. I had assumed it was just about an orphan.
Well, so it was.

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