This might be one of the greatest and more confusing photos I’ve ever seen, especially if you know who these four men are.
I mean, what are the then-Mayor of Atlanta and the co-founder of the SCLC and member of the Georgia Senate doing hanging out with the premier Black comedian and director of the era?
Source Awards? Chaka Khan and Rufus concert? Oscar Party @ Ossie and Ruby’s house?
Surprisingly, none of these are correct. Believe it or not, in 1977, all four contributed in some fashion to the making of the movie Greased Lightning. The movie, about the first black NASCAR driver, starred Richard Pryor, co-starred State Senator Julian Bond, had a cameo by Mayor Maynard Jackson, was co-written by Melvin Van Peebles, and was filmed in the Atlanta area.
This image is especially important to me, because it exemplifies the two parts of my brain and life that I struggle to balance on a daily basis. This picture sums up my 9-5 and then my 5-9. I go to school to be more like Maynard and Julian, but the moment I’m out of class, I’m doing everything in my power to be like Richard and Melvin. I completely understand that neither fully exists in a silo and, long term, they will begin to converge, but being the often-impatient person that I am, the waiting game is stressful.
This picture shows the worlds colliding, while showing how not-so-far the worlds really are.
In my perfect world in 10 years, I’m rocking Julian’s part in my hair, Maynard’s suit and corsage, Richard’s bowtie and facial expression, and, of course, wearing Melvin’s tank top underneath everything (and his facial hair). A hybrid of these four men is what I’m shooting for. Do I know how to pull this off? Not. A. Clue.
But at the end of the day, why not shoot for it? Worst case scenario is I end up choosing one of the worlds, abandoning my dreams of mixing the two. That’s not the end of the world, I just hope that’s now how it ends up. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Go big or go home.