By Lawrence Pfeil Jr
For three weeks America’s soul has been shattered by videos of unarmed black men again being threatened or murdered. White vigilantes gun down an unarmed, Ahmaud Arbery while he jogged; a white woman used the police as a weapon against Christian Cooper while he birdwatched; and a white cop murder George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes while other cops watched. Now Minneapolis burns and cities across the country erupt in pain, and anger and outrage crying for justice, while the nation’s President only threatens more violence on the grieving.
I saw it all.
In 2018, New York City Center’s “Off Center” presented Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for A New. An instant staple of the musical theatre repertoire since its debut in 1995, the song cycle was reimagined and reinterpreted for the summer concert series with the addition of a full orchestra and dancers. The most striking, in a way that knocks the very breath out you, was Mykal Kilgore’s soul shattering “Flying Home.”
I know because saw it.
Tragically, the violence and pain we are witnessing again is not new. It is history repeating itself again and again and inspired the 2018 interpretation and performance. But in the healing power of music and the performance by a black man who knows of what he sings we share Mykal Kilgore’s “Flying Home.”
May it bring some peace, healing, and strength to all who are hurting.
Mykal Kilgore’s debut album, A Man Born Black is available now on all platforms
From his website
“This is a story about A Man Born Black.
Maybe you know him.
Maybe you are him.
He’s important and valuable.
He’s misunderstood and underestimated.
This is a celebration of A Man Born Black.
His body. His mind. His voice. His soul.
This is an invitation from A Man Born Black.
This work is meant for everyone’s ears.
It is romantic and political; it is theatrical and raw.
It will make you think, feel, and sing along.”