Erykah Badu and the Yin and Yang of it All

April 12, 2010

Nothing is “all good” or “all bad”.  In his book, How to Live Without Stress, A.O. Abudu, a Ghanaian economist,  makes this point again and again in a guide to life he wrote for his children.

This yin and yang in life is something psychoanalysts working with children talk about a great deal.  In fact, they consider it a developmental milestone in to learn to experience good and bad simultaneously.  It usually happens around what a  caregiver is doing.  The caregiver is frustrating to a child when she is not giving the child (toddler-age) what she wants in the moment.  However, the child ultimately learns to know that the caregiver loves her and she will get her needs met.  It balances out. ( When children are not able to integrate good and bad they may develop emotional problems later.)

So, on to Erykah Badu.  Let’s practice accepting the good with the bad.  There was some “bad” about her recent choices.  She broke the law.  She exposed herself to children and adults in a manner inconsistent with our societal norms.  It was probably an extremely successful publicity stunt on some level (this later point may actually be considered “good” by some folks).

However, there were some very good points to this video.  From my perspective, she took a risk in the name of art.  She had something she needed to say and found a way to say it.  The most striking things were that she had “Evolving” written across her bare back, and then she was shot. Out of something so controversial sprang a useful and powerful message.

After watching the video I thought about the current political climate in the country and the resistance to evolution in terms of politics.  There was a desire to stop things from changing at the time of JFK and there is that same sentiment among many groups now.  America and its resistance to change is naked, exposed right now.  We have had citizens recently spitting on Black congressmen and calling them “nigger”.  As a country, we have recently taken giant leaps forward and now there seems to be a desire for some groups to make no change or go backward.

The best I’ve found on the lady speaking for herself is in this link: http://thehiphopconsultant.wordpress.com/2010/04/09/erykah-badu-didnt-expect-to-be-demonized-for-window-seat-video/  She speaks here of more personal evolution, but I think it is all relevant.

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2 Responses to “Erykah Badu and the Yin and Yang of it All”

  1. CLIFTON ARRINGTON said

    ART CAN AND IS A WONDERFUL WAY OF MAKING A POINT IN EXPRESSING ONESELF…. BUT… THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN MAKE AND BRING ABOUT CHANGE, IS TO BE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN WHAT CHANGES WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE COME ABOUT….

  2. Hey Clifton: Thanks for your comment. But, don’t you think art can inspire people to get more involved?

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