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“This is” the America I Love!

Posted on March 9, 2018

“This is” the America I Love!

Towards the end of the Oscars last Sunday, Keala Settle was introduced to perform the song This is Me. When the only radio station you listen to is NPR, you lose touch with what is going on with popular music. I never heard of Keala and didn’t see The Greatest Showman.

The performance began with a dim spotlight shown on just on Keala. Then this voice arose out of her,

I am not a stranger to the dark

Hide away, they say ’cause we don’t want your broken parts

I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars

Run away, they say no one’ll love you as you are

But I won’t let them break me down to dust

I know that there’s a place for us

For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I am brave, I am bruised

I am who I’m meant to be, this is me

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me

Wow! Her voice froze me while the lyrics brought on goosebumps! Then the stage lights up and it filled with a diverse group of people, who seemed to represent a broad range of religions, gender/sexual identities, and races, they started to sing with a passion that somehow matched Keala’s.

Another round of bullets hits my skin

Well, fire away ’cause today, I won’t let the shame sink in

We are bursting through the barricades and

Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)

Yeah, that’s what we’ve become

I won’t let them break me down to dust

I know that there’s a place for us

For we are glorious

Okay, now I have a new theme song for my entire life! In my trainings I speak about the transition of a person’s voice as they leave the traumatize/victim mindset behind and find their inner hero. Here was this transition in the form of a beautiful lyrical poem delivered with a voice trembling with real life pain and joy.

Look out ’cause here I come

And I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I’m not scared to be seen

I make no apologies, this is me

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down

I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out

I’m gonna send a flood

Gonna drown them out

Oh, This is me

When the song ended with the singers and dancers in the audience, with me close to tears, I realized why this performance and the whole Oscars made me proud of my country (a feeling I’ll admit to not having much lately). The show made an obvious effort to highlight diversity and overall did a good job.

This is Me brought all these efforts together and in less than three minutes showed why we need to celebrate our diversity as our greatest strength. The power of this performance would have been lost without the beautiful diversity that brings so much strength, energy, and creativity into communities smart enough to embrace it. If our country has a bright and vibrant future, it was the diverse talent on display by Keala, Jordan Peele, Frances McDormand (I love you Frances!!), Guillermo del Toro, and the others who showed how much better a culture is when diverse voices and talents can express their brilliance.

If you have not seen the performance, please take a minute today to watch it. In my opinion, it is best served when you turn it up all the way. So, gather your co-workers, students, children, a client or two, find some decent speakers, and celebrate resiliency, diversity, and that our country with ALL its issues can be “This is Me.”

2 responses to ““This is” the America I Love!”

  1. Lisa Taton-Murphy says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing; it was indeed inspiring.

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