We made it through five magnificent songs.
I managed to sit still long enough to make it to the intermission.
I see giant white boards with musical lines on the walls, and markers calling Marcel’s name.
We’re in a big recital/classroom on a college campus filled with college kids to see my friend Hassan play piano.
The same friend who stopped by the night before to invite me to the show. Who came by to hug on me, my brother and mom during his forty-eight hour visit back to Maine.
The friend who went to this college, graduated with honors, and is a nationally known jazz pianist. The one who looks like you, is taller than an oak tree, and speaks as softly as the brook on the edge of a path he and you are following wherever it will take you.
The pianist is brown. Everyone has come to listen to him. He is captivating, talented, and within my reach. He is a Black man who adores me. I will grow up and be a Black man too.
As a transracial adoptive parent: a forty-five minute drive to expose them to twenty minutes of completely extraordinary normal is part of my unspoken agreement with his first mom, with their future. This is the investment: twenty minutes that could create exponential reverberations in terms of possibility in their lives.
Thank you to Bowdoin for flying Hassan here (from Cincinnati) to play the show to raise money for the Haitian Student Alliance. Bowdoin college where Sam’s grandfather went to college. Bowdoin College where John Brown Russwurm, a Jamaican native graduated in 1824, the first Black man to graduate from Bowdoin. The third Black man to graduate from a college in the United States.