I imagine the time Harry Belafonte sat in for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show was as anticipated as the latest episode of the webcast series Verzuz showcasing Patti Labelle and Gladys Knight.
The two Black culture events converged for me last weekend when I watched the documentary about the historic Woke Week, The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show, and the so-called battle of the R&B divas on the same day.
As soon as that preposterous photo of President Trump brandishing the bible hit the stratosphere, I intuitively sensed who was behind his pilgrimage from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“This reeks of the First Daughter,” I shared with a friend. I sat up straight in my chair, threw my shoulders back, thrust out my chin and cheekbones (mine are natural, without benefit of a plastic surgeon’s scalpel) and delivered my best Ivanka.
“Daddy, this is an important moment,” I tittered, lips pursed. “It will be like Moses and the Ten Commandments.”
My friend laughed. “Is she like the girls you attended school with?”
“Oh no! She went to Chapin. Brearley girls are not like that.”
Three decades later, I’m embarrassed to admit it remains etched in my consciousness that Chapin girls are blonde and snooty whereas Brearley girls are brighter, better, more magnanimous.
The truth is much more complicated.
I like to make stuff...and think about stuff.