When I was twelve years old, my Father was the Program Director for an organization called The American Guild of Authors and Composers, AGAC as he referred to it. AGAC protected the rights and royalties of musicians, writers, and composers. He went back into the music archives and took on many legal battles with law firms that were collecting royalties for people like Billy Holiday, who sold the rights to her songs for drugs. He knew that people like her and multiple others during the Harlem Renaissance were completely taken advantage of by entertainment attorneys. He was sort of the “Robin Hood” of the jazz music industry. I was proud of him and he was proud of himself.
Watching my Father’s endless effort, I learned from him to always do the right thing. If it feels wrong, it is wrong. Always protect those at a disadvantage; it’s your social and human responsibility. My Father never thought he was a hero, but to many people he was. To him he was just doing his job with integrity.
Love Your Hair,