Sunday, June 22, 2008

Two Nations Forever

Sometimes I'm optimistic about the future, but then I read this Post story about a southern Maryland church chorus, trying to bridge religious and racial differences and I conclude there's no way.

With just two weeks until their first performance, Jefferson [chorus leader] jumped into practicing the two songs the choir planned to sing at the concert. For the slow "Lord We Worship You," he told them, imagine a quiet candlelight dinner with God. For the upbeat "Blessed Be the Lord," use "your country voice," he said.

And learn to move, he told them. Clapping was not an option at this point, as past attempts had ended with the black members clapping on the second and fourth beats and white members clapping on the first and third.

But some aren't so easily discouraged:

"It's not in everybody's culture to do the moving, so be sensitive," Jefferson said. "We're a little, how do I say it, challenged in that area. It's going to take awhile. We're going to bridge it together. Bridge the cultures."

Start with baby steps, he instructed. Tap your foot. Or rock back and forth.

"Just try not to laugh at each other."

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