Home is in North Dallas which is about 10 minutes down the 190 depending on how fast I'm driving these days. I have to say that while I enjoyed growing up in St. Louis, I absolutely love living in Dallas. It has always felt more like home to me than St. Louis and the people are warm and welcoming.
(Image of Erykah Badu - DailyCeleb.com - All Rights Reserved)
I rarely get to Downtown Dallas but when I first moved here in late 1984 (26 years ago) from St. Louis my late husband and I did all the downtown touristy things. Including Dealey Plaza, a popular tourist spot since Kennedy's 1963 assassination there. Like many first time visitors we were shocked at small the area is where he was killed. It looks a lot bigger on film.
Recently Dallas native Erykah Badu who is almost as famous for her iconic hair and head wraps as her music, filmed a controversial video as she walked stripping nude along a sidewalk near where JFK was assassinated. The video was released Saturday for her song "Window Seat" which Badu told the media was "shot guerrilla style" with no crew and in one take on March 17th.
I can understand why she did the video but I have to say while I could care less that she striped to full nudity, I wish she hadn't blatantly reminded people about the assassination. Dallas has paid the price for many years for being the site of the murder of one of the most beloved presidents in US history.
Of course we have lots of unpopular president reminders all around us in Dallas. Dubya Bush and his former first lady actually live in a North Dallas suburb. We also have George Senior reminders all around us with George Bush Freeway which most people call 190 to avoid the constant reminder. When it comes to presidents, Dallas has not had much luck.
Remember when the Dixie Chicks, from Austin, Texas made their politically unpopular comments about George Jr?
Yeah, well I wish Erykah had stripped in Fort Worth or Austin or even Denton, Texas. But not Dallas.
Why Video Is Controversial
The video is controversial from a number of viewpoints including the fact children could be seen in the background as she stripped naked. Badu's response? She tweeted that "there were children there. i prayed they wouldnt b traumatized."
Although children were nearby, no one filed a complaint against Badu after the March 17 incident, Dallas Police Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said. As a result Badu will not face indecent exposure charges for shedding her clothes on the Dallas, Texas, sidewalk.
"But if we had had a call and would have caught Ms. Badu in the act of walking down the street taking her clothes off, she would have been charge with a Class B misdemeanor," she said.
Statement Against GroupThink
The R&B singer said she was making a statement against "groupthink," which she tweeted was an "unwritten rule" that "i will not express my true opinion if it opposes those i love and fear."
Some fans sent tweets praising Badu's artistic vision. One fan tweeted to Badu on Sunday: "thank you, because your being brave, i no longer feel afraid to say what i really feel."
November 22, 1963
The video opens with a November 22, 1963, radio broadcast describing Kennedy's motorcade turning onto Elm Street seconds before fatal shots were fired. In the video, Badu is behind the wheel of a 1965 Lincoln Continental, parked along Kennedy's route. A single camera focuses on her as she walks toward Elm Street and the book depository where Kennedy's assassin fired his rifle.
Badu tweeted that "i was petrified while shooting this video ... but liberation began to set in. i conquered many fears in that few moments."
She said she was "too busy lookin for cops" to be embarrassed by her nudity. "i been naked all along in my words actions and deeds. thats the real vulnerable place," she tweeted.
The video does not include shouts from people off camera, she said. "they were yelling, 'THIS IS A PUBLIC PLACE : YOU OUGHTA BE ASHAMED : PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON : DAMN GIRL! etc," Badu tweeted.
More than a dozen people stood along the plaza's "grassy knoll" when Badu took off the last piece of clothing. "the people caught in the shot were trying hard to ignore me," she tweeted.
Crackle Of Gunshot
As she reached the spot where Kennedy was first struck by a bullet, the crackle of a gunshot is heard and Badu's head snaps back and she falls to the ground as if dead. Badu said when the camera stopped "we ran."
The singer was born in Dallas, where she is raising her three children -- ages 1, 5 and 12. She tweeted to fans about her 5-year-old daughter's response when told of her plans for the video: "she looked at me with a blank face and replied ok mama can i have another pudding?"
The video was released days before the singer's next album, "New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh," hits record stores. The single "Window Seat" is at No. 28 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart.
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