I was touched by this story I read regarding Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald (courtesy of Lattes and Lipstick):
Apparently in the 1950s, a popular nightclub, Mocambo would not book Ella Fitzgerald because she was Black. Fortunately for Ella, she had a powerful and unlikely benefactor: Marilyn Monroe.
“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she promised she would take a front table every night. She told him –and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – and ahead of her time and she didn’t know it.”
In light of the myriad of racially motivated controversies confronting our society, the message in this story really hit home. One of the lessons I take from this story is that in this day and age, so many of us – regardless of our race/ethnicity – go out in the world expecting to encounter racism or discrimination. Yes, we all have sense enough to know that these terrible feelings exist, and people DO engage in this type of negative action. Yet we have to believe and know that everyone we meet is not automatically going to display those unkind sentiments.
Some people really enjoy people and appreciate what others – despite their race or ethnicity – have to offer. Why? Because they’re open minded, and an open mind usually reflects an open heart.
As open-minded as I am, I’m always up for a little heart surgery. How about you?
Join in the Fray: In what areas of life could you stand to be more “open-minded?”
Copyright © 2013 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl, All rights reserved.
(A modified version of this post appeared in The Daily Advertiser, April 10, 2012)