Mavis Staples, my my my.

Her music goes deep. So soulful, so uplifting. I just can’t get enough.

Mavis Staples is a gospel goddess, and an under-celebrated female icon in the struggle for civil rights. She sang with Dr King as child, when she would travel with her father and sisters as the Staples Singers. When I saw her perform last summer at the Blues Fest, she told the story of how King would always ask them to do “Why Am I Treated So Bad” – it was his favorite song. Can you imagine? I, then a 28-year old, was standing in the presence of this woman who used to open the set, so to speak, for Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. What a huge privilege that I’m still alive to see her. It’s hard to comprehend, but especially as a history teacher, that moment was hugely significant for me. Every moment, we are all part of something much, much bigger than we usually realize.

I read that Mavis just performed at a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act being passed into law. Presidents Bush (43), Carter, Clinton, and Obama were all there in Austin at the LBJ library. I will be sad when she goes, and am very grateful she still has her health. She’s 74, and last year performed with a cane, but seemed as fiesty as ever. “Next time I see you I’ll have both my hips working” she said with a laugh.

I didn’t intend this to sound like eulogy. I’m just beyond humbled to still be able to see and hear and learn from this incredible woman.


One thought on “Mavis Staples, my my my.

  1. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks robin … Yes Mavis is something special … Great artist. Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s