This is no blues hall. This is no juke joint. Many times I have felt uncomfortable when we clean up the blues to the point nobody is dancing on dirt or concrete.
I hold back tears for what this means. Silly, huh?
Othar Turner, Ada Mae Anderson, Jessie Mae Hemphill, R.L. Burnside, Fred McDowell, William Diamond, Rosa Lee Hill, Robert Diggs, Joe Callicot and so many others did not need this to do what they did.
Standing there then, sitting here now, I wish they could see what I see.
How a large group of people walked past Monet and van Gogh into a room where what they did, who they were, are put on a brilliant display. That back in 1967 welcoming a stranger with a camera into their homes meant they would be documented as legends for generations to come.
And Cedric Burnside knew it. He knew who and what he represented and all those, especially his Granddaddy, who came before him would surely, most definitely be proud.
It was obvious George Mitchell was when he watched Cedric play.
So here's the deal.
I got to say thank you in person.
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to those who played the blues then and those who play them now, the Mississippi Museum of Art, the Mississippi Humanities Council and George Mitchell.
I drove home last night thinking it's a good time to be in Mississippi. There is so much love here.