But What Do I Know?

VERY LITTLE, when it comes to American Black history. What little I do know is horrifying.

I’m currently reading These Truths by Jill Lapore, an overview of American history from Columbus to the present. In it, I learned that the seeds of slavery and democracy were both planted in the colonies in the same year, 1619. The first slaves (kidnapped from Africa, then stolen at sea by pirates) were sold there just when the first gathering of the colonial governing bodies met to discuss increasing their democratic representation. That’s right. Slavery for you. Democracy for me.

Insanely illogical as it may seem, in America these polar opposites flourished together, like a double helix of depravity and inspiration, apparently inseparable yet grotesquely incompatible. It’s a story of moral madness, a damning testimony to the ease with which we humans see things as we want to see them and not as they really are.

That said, this weekend’s Juneteenth is a celebration of the first official step in freeing those slaves. One hundred and sixty years later, we are still not done; institutional racism remains rampant, cloaked by the long shadow cast by our founders; but let us join our African American brothers and sisters, celebrate our progress—slow, agonizing, cruel and violent as it has been—and then devote ourselves to bringing light to the darkness and finishing the job.


PERHAPS a celebration of a different sort. A seven song set of stories based on people I’ve known—or known about.

Couch concert details:

  • Friday, June 26, 2020
  • 7 pm PDT start
  • Bodhi Bill Miller channel on YouTube.com


Author: Bodhi Bill

BodhiBill.com is about sharing the songs I've been gifted with. Where did they come from? Two remarkable, life-changing events happened In 1996. First, I experienced an unexpected encounter with a friend of the family who was dying. The impact was so profound I left my career in advertising and became a board certified chaplain, working with the dying. Second, original songs began channeling through me with no warning. This was a complete surprise. Even though I'd played guitar since high school, I'd never considered myself a songwriter—or even a singer for that matter. More like a third-rate folk music plunker. But the songs came through anyway. Since I retired in 2015, I now have the time to record and share these songs. Although they are not "commercial" in style or content, I feel they are lovely little gems worth preserving and sharing.

3 thoughts on “Unfathomable…”

  1. Hi Bill – I’ve just placed this on my reading list. Very well said. Literally, FROM THE START, we as a nation were engaged in this moral depravity. Wow. An eye opener. I’m going to attempt to post your blog on our Spokane NAACP Branch #1137 FB page.

    1. Thanks. That info really blew me away. Here’s another nugget from our gold mine of delusion: while buying books on history and philosophy to help draft a constitution to enshrine liberty, John Adams got so deep in debt he considered selling a slave to pay for them.

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