To close out black history month its inextricably bound up with the cultural politics of race, and the infinite constructions of structural restrictions that have defined those relations. The Jim Crow segregation, the African American were not America’s only victimized group, but their position was particular: anti-citizens when compared to the normative white citizenry that other groups had acquired and who in turn were often cruelly willing to defend their notch on the pecking order in turn.
The subaltern status meant a reflection on being the problem, and the dynamic of the double consciousness, the seventh son syndrome one devoid of true self consciousness and only able to see through the revelation of the “other” world. The sensation of the dual consciousness, to be forever examining one’s self only through the eyes of an omnipresent other, filtering the amused contempt and pity. A duality. An America. An African-American. Two souls. Two thought processes. Two strivings and desires which seem unable to reconcile. All in one brown body. There is a tremendous strength there to keep it from disintegrating and collapsing. Capsizing in a sea of sorrow.
On Willie Mays: …When I went to California I stayed with Leo in his house. His kid, Chris Durocher, was my roommate on the road. Chris would go to the black areas and stay with me. Leo trusted me. He knew that if his kid was going to stay with me, nothing was going to happen to that kid. When we used to eat soul food, he didn’t know what it was. We had black-eyed peas, cornbread, chitlins, and he was used to eating steaks! He goes back and he tells his father, “I had cornbread,” and his father started laughing. So Leo said, “Okay, I’ll give you another $40 a day.” So I made another $40 on top of my meal money. We would get the kid the same stuff. We never game him a steak, the same stuff. He’d go back and tell his father, and he’d come to me, “Haven’t you been feeding my kid?” “Leo, I fed him, what do you want me to do?” Read More:http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/may0int-5
“Joe Louis, Jascha Heifetz, Sammy Davis and Nashua rolled into one.” – Leo Durocher (describing Mays)…”Reggie Jackson couldn’t shine Willie Mays’ shoes. He never hit .300, he’s a butcher in the outfield and he’s got a big mouth. What does he make, $8,000 a week? I wouldn’t pay him $8 a week. He’s a bum.” – Major League Manager Leo Durocher (1980)…
If somebody came up and hit .450, stole 100 bases, and performed a miracle in the field every day, I’d still look you right in the eye and tell you that Willie was better. He could do the five things you have to do to be a superstar: hit, hit with power, run, throw and field. And he had the other magic ingredient that turns a superstar into a super Superstar. Charisma. He lit up a room when he came in. He was a joy to be around.
–Leo Durocher, Mays’s first manager, Nice Guys Finish Last