In music, the key note is the home base.
It’s the place where all progressions lead and long to go.
the key note is modulated to a new home.
Then, sounds come in new colors with new energy.
Yesterday, Jason Reynolds Keynote at TCRWP added a 7th chord to my head and heart. A leading sound. An invitation forward. An enlarged awareness.
He told his story. His powerful story of growing up in the drugs and violence saturated neighborhoods of Washington, DC. He rejected literature. “Atticus Finch don’t exist in my neighborhood,” he said. “Literature clearly don’t want a relationship with me.” He told how rap and the poetry of Queen Latifah became the megaphone for voices of kids like him. He started to read and reread rap, the poetry of his time. Queen Latifah was his Langston Hughes, his Maya Angelou.
Much later, he finished his first book ever–when a sophomore in college. He became addicted to the act of completion. Then, he devoured books. Like a chord resolving to the home key. Complete. How many kids need the support to complete just one book? How could that begin the “addiction to the act of completion?”
A boy from the projects writes and gives a keynote. It was music to my ears.
“Nobody’s grown. We’re all growing.” –Jason Reynolds, Riverside Church, 3/16/19