Monday, April 13, 2015

Bradley at SLU

Those old-school jazz cats talk about the significance of seeing Coltrane or Miles or Monk playing live. For instance, you hear them speaking of Monk's "legendary" run in 1957 at the Five Spot CafĂ©, a notable jazz  club, as one of the great moments in the history of the music. The dedicated witnesses reflect on Monk and speak of the artistry and skill, the playfulness and serious work.

Years from now, I'm channeling those witnesses when I reference our guy Stefan Bradley at St. Louis University (SLU). I'll say something like, "Listen. I saw Bradley at SLU." And then, like those jazz witnesses, I'll pause, expecting some affirmation for having been present for something special.

The other night, I caught Bradley at SLU. This time, like the last time, and like the time before that, he was playing his many leading and supporting roles in their annual symposium related to empowering black men. Bradley was sharing the stage with Shaun Harper, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania; Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D., noted author and president of Dillard University; and Dwaun Warmack, Ed.D., president of Harris Stowe University.

There was a large crowd for the event. It was new and important, informative, lively, communal, and filled with surprising moments for an academic gathering at a university, all of which is to say, it was now a typical gathering involving Bradley at SLU. As always, I was glad to be a witness.

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