What aches Leslie Odom Jr. a few night time out in Miami’s Sam Cooke

We’re in a place of privilege because of Sam’s work. Because Sam was walking, Aretha could run and Aretha gave Whitney wings and Whitney gave, you know, so you can’t judge some of our ancestors who came before us because they did the best they could. You know, Sam wore his hair naturally. That was radical. He cut the shell out of his hair, there was no process in my hair. As one of the greatest stars of his time, he gave Brothas the confidence to carry this little one, to carry this little one [gestures to his head] natural thing. That just wasn’t done in his time, so he did his part. But yeah, it pains me to think that there was a room, some room in America that wouldn’t have opened its arms to Sam Cooke, that it wouldn’t have been accepted. You know to me, because he’s my type, any room that didn’t accept him didn’t deserve it. But he knew that acceptance in the Copa was money. That will open up the opportunity to make the dough I have to make in this country and his talent deserves it. And he didn’t want to be relegated to any part of the business with all the talent he brought to the table.

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