A Need to be Doused in Black Culture - (Ep. 95 - Sonari Glinton)

This Week's Guest: Sonari Glinton

When you look back on your life, who are the adults who were wiser than you realized at the time? My guest this week is NPR's Sonari Glinton. He grew up in Chicago, surrounded by amazing artists and curators who managed to steer him in the directions that were exactly what a little queer kid needed.

This Week's Recommendation: Frank Sinatra's letter to George Michael

For my recommendation this week, do a search for Frank Sinatra George Michael. Sadly, you will not find them doing a duet together, which would have been awesome. But you will find a letter that Sinatra wrote to George Michael in 1990. At the time, George had just done an interview with a magazine about how he didn't like the pressure of celebrity. Sinatra, in response, wrote a letter (on a typewriter!) expressing his disbelief that "he wants to quit doing what tons of gifted youngsters all over the world would shoot grandma for."

Sinatra's advice was to "loosen up" and "be grateful to carry the baggage we've all had to carry since those lean nights of sleeping on buses and helping the driver unload the instruments." 

The letter concludes "talent must not be wasted. ... Those who have talent must hug it, embrace it, nurture it and share it lest it be taken away from you as fast as it was loaned to you."

Now, to be fair, Frank didn't always take this advice to heart. When he married Mia Farrow, he famously demanded that she give up her acting career to be a wife. Her response was to be in the movie Rosemary's Baby, and that was the end of that relationship.

So I guess we should take Frank's advice like Mia Farrow did -- and like George Michael, whose solo career was just launching when he got that letter. Whatever your talent is, you can either choose to pass it up, or pass it along to everyone around you.

Clips of Stuff we Talked About



Parisian Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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