STRONG LEGACY by @trevor_brown_artist
I had told my brother that our father's obituary had some facts that were incorrect a large one being his total omission from his father's life another being his role on the school paper at City College called curiously enough The Paper. It was a Black publication for the students of color at this city college.
"He was the editor of The Paper a Black publication."
Is how it read in his obituary.
I Google'd 'City College The Paper' and found a backlog of issues from the seventies and in my initial perusal I wasn't able to find anything by my father which lead me to believe that this fact about his life was a lie. I shared my discovery with my brother.
Yesterday I was looking through a scrapbook where I had placed photos and school papers my father's mother had given to me. This was her version of the changing of the guard passing these bits of my family history over to me. A burden that is most times very daunting. I just hate having to be the historian, history wasn't my best subject.
I discovered on an old scrapbook page an article from September 22, 1977, titled Mommy, What's A Funkadelic? Or the Funkatizing Of The American Reality by BR Brown. This was my father's premiere article for the school newspaper and it was fire! I had known one of my father's many nicknames was BR and I am not sure if I had gotten up to these issues in seventy seven, but I had went through so many looking for some of his old work that I had given up after going through five years of back issues.
But now I had a starting point. I went back to the City College archive site and looked a month before this article and a month after, it was the after that I would find that he became the Managing Editor in the October issue and would continue at this capacity for the next 10-12 issues. This was an amazing find.
My father had passed in ninety three and subsequently his mother had given me his poetry which I had begin to transcribe a few years ago. But I didn't have any of his prose and I knew he had also dabbled in prose. And here I found twelve issues from the past that not only included prose but a poem he wrote to my mother, that was clearly a love letter and an apology.
After sorting through all the back issues and downloading PDF of everything I could find that my father touched. I called my brother to tell him. He was very amused that I would be admitting to an error and this tickled him to no end. I think my striving for perfection had clearly come across in our relationship, but I wanted to make it clear I had no problem admitting when I was in error, he countered with wrong, I responded with I wasn't wrong, I was in error. He said like your playing football or something, right.
I have decided that since his writing was so eloquent that it should be shared. And I am going to share some selections from his school paper on Facebook on Notes. I sent my brother the PDF of the first issue he's in and let him know I would send him others as he finishes them. His technology game isn't as strong as mine because I would have preferred to just send them all to him, but sometimes it takes him a minute to figure out how to open things or view them.
I told him this is the best way to get to know his father, who died when he was twelve, curiously a year older than me when my mother died. Both of my parents died at forty four, they were nine years apart in age and died nine years apart from each other. The best way to know his father was to hear his father's voice in his father's own words. We were both tickled that our father was Black as fuck and in this his first article or essay he made it clear that he wasn't here for the bullshit and his legacy was apparent in not only his children but his grandchildren.
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