“Said it back then, now he’s saying it again…” have truer words ever been spoken? Maybe that’s the test, the eternal struggle, the struggle to respect and protect everyone’s humanity. Weren’t we all born with our humanity in tact? Yes we all fail, we all come short, but perhaps, just perhaps if we weren’t lied to in the beginning there would be a chance, a chance to understand that we are all valid because we are all here.

We deal with an incredibly confusing and debilitating type of bondage today. That is the bondage of the mind that affects both the oppressor and the oppressed. This all stems from an untruth that has been repeated over and over for centuries that one is better than the other, that something actually exists as good guys and bad guys, that someone is guilty by default and that one is able to right a perceived wrong by smite. No, they’re all wrong on all accounts and those who hold on to this type of thinking need to let it go and by extension let the people go. By the same account those who feel that they are less than and need to live up to less than types of expectations need to let that type of thinking go and free themselves by extension.

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.