I was intrigued by the word “provacateause” after reading a critic’s review of the 2017 documentary called “Bloodlight and Bami” about the legendary artist, Grace Jones. The word rolled off my tongue with both a “sweetness” and “sting” to the point where I started a blog entry without knowing what I would ultimately write about. All I knew is that it felt good to say the word. It was appropriately used to describe the essence and career of Ms. Jones. It also resonated with a part of me that is independently free thinking and rebellious which has served as the catalyst for launching this website. This blog entry has now morphed into a farewell salute to two great “agent provocateurs” in their own right (Ruth Bader Ginsberg aka RBG and Stanley Crouch).
The definition of a “provocateause” is a female provocateur – – a phenomenal, divine feminine packing a punch, breaking barriers and bringing order out of chaos. Grace Jones is most definitely one. Ruth Bader Ginsberg – – historical icon, warrior and feminist – – was absolutely another. As we remember and celebrate the life of the former Supreme Court Justice, we cannot forget her pivotal role as a woman in her full POWER with PURPOSE inducing and inciting a real change in this country. She constantly challenged America to live up to our founding father’s vision of creating a more “perfect union” especially one in which some of “US” were never considered during its formation. Her commitment to civil and women’s rights cannot be denied leaving behind an unforgettable legacy. ALL women benefited from her presence and voice as an advocate and rebel single handedly cutting through to the heart of any injustice. At 5 feet tall, she didn’t earn the name the “Notorious RBG” for nothing. In fact, the late east coast rapper, Biggie Smalls aka the original “Notorious BIG,” would most definitely give her the Brooklyn nod of approval for her fiery oratory and written legal retorts using clear, concise and cutting prose to make a point. The loss of RBG cannot be denied as our country’s justice scales are in a more precarious position. Ruth Bader Ginsberg did her part until her last breath and then some. It’s our turn now.
Agent provocateurs always come in different packages (writers, artists, lawyers, community activists, everyday people, etc.). RBG fulfilled her mission and so did Stanley Crouch, essayist and cultural and jazz critic, who died recently as well. He may not be as known to some as RBG but Crouch also packed a punch offering insightful commentary on cultural issues and America’s truly, authentic artistic invention – – Jazz music. It was the music and his passion for it that drew many of his fans to his writing. I got the opportunity to chat with Mr. Crouch following an introduction by a tribe member. I met him at one of my favorite bars on 8th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. I can’t recall all the things we spoke about – – politics, entertainment, jazz, my budding consulting business, etc. – – but I do remember his intense gaze as he spoke. His eyes held POWER and CLARITY that seemed to pierce my very soul while analyzing my responses and observations. There was nothing malicious or hidden about his intention just a desire to “unveil” my authentic identity and to determine how he could help or advise me.
As I think about the legacy of both RBG and Mr. Crouch, I suspect they held the same intention of spirit – – desire to unveil authentic trUth – – in all their efforts. You couldn’t BS either if you wanted to so perhaps the “hard&black no chaser” approach was the only way to go. Today, I honor their contributions. I mourn the loss of their voice and insight especially now. Yet, I remain hopeful that the purest and highest vibrational intention of all Americans will rise and prevail in the long run. Humanity is neither all good or bad but embodies both energetically. What does it matter if the the essence of their opinions and voices aren’t expressed? There is so much at stake for us ALL and our country that what happens in 2020 (both the presidential election and the Supreme Court vacancy) will reflect a pivotal “awakening” for determining the future identity of the United States of America. Something critical is being said – – and it is pulsating much louder now with an indescribable, jazz rhythm! How will you answer?