I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. . . . Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. [Elie Wiesel, Nobel Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1986.]
At other times, people need our support. Few things express our concern as well as standing up for someone, especially when no one else will do it.
Documentary and Educational Films
- The Interrupters, about young men who try to protect their community against the violence they once employed
- John Thompson, I Came As a Shadow: An Autobiography (Henry Holt & Company, 2020): “Thompson took over at Georgetown in 1972. The college had a poor team with a losing record. Thompson slowly turned it into a powerhouse. He did so by recruiting young Black players, some of whom had less than sterling academic credentials. He fought for these kids. He thought they deserved a chance.”
From the dark side:
- Aminatta Forna, The Memory of Love (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2011), “a luminous tale of passion and betrayal, encompassing the political unrest that racked Sierra Leone in the late 1960s . . .”
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Donizetti, La Fille du Régiment: the regiment has symbolically adopted a young woman of uncertain parentage. She faces the ancient conundrum of being unable to marry the man she loves because of social conventions. Just as she is about about to sign a marriage contract to marry someone she does not love, the regiment comes to her rescue (performances conducted by Renzetti, Flores and Tingaud).
Raga Abheri (Aberi) is a Carnatic north Indian rag (performance by Shankar)
- Joel Ross, “Kingmaker”
- China Moses, “Nightintales”: on this album, a young African-American woman sings of standing up for herself. Vocally, she is wrapped in pain, and in her own arms.