Our New Global Village

Alvin Kevin Walton King. Ehirim Files

I first heard the term, Global Village, more than 20 years ago here in Los Angeles. It was the name given by host Sergio Mielniczenko to maybe my favorite music and cultural programs of all time. The Brazilian host would start in Rio, and then go to Sao Paolo, or Bahia, but like a conductor who warms up a symphony orchestra by testing all the tones before soaring into the program, he was getting us listeners ready for a sonic journey which could take us to Memphis, Dakar, London, or Kingston in a heartbeat. I loved the show and still do. But for most of my life the concept was limited to my Pacifica Radio Dial.

Lo and behold we are actually living in a global village today. I guess It was just a matter of time. A world without borders and boundaries, like the iconic view of our world from space, where you don’t see all the barriers we have created, you see one beautiful deep blue world sitting atop a marvelous background of space.

And this reality which has been with us since the beginning just hit me this week. It hit me from watching clip after clip and expert after expert and analysis after analysis of the coronavirus. And one thing I noticed was that the coronavirus was creating a demographic revolution on our TV screens. We were bearing witness to our new Global Village. One expert of British extraction, another Pakistani, this one Vietnamese. Another’s parents are from Nigeria, but they now live in New York. The next of Mexican heritage. Just as our planet traverses through the solar system our digital world of connected communication is weaving its way through our global village.

We live in a Global Village and it seemed to happen overnight. Even in America where jingoism and xenophobia are not uncommon, I have not heard too much of a backlash against our increasingly global identity. I guess we realize in a pandemic there is literally no place to hide. And there is no barrier real or fictive that can keep us safe.

So, the prophets and poets and singers and visionaries have imagined a day like today. King, America’s Moses, said that he envisioned a day, and he said it more eloquently than I, when boys and girls of every hue and stripe and origin and circumstance, while under the watchful and prideful eye of their parents, would join hands with one another and march into a present of uncertainty with a faith and love born of unity.

I have often remarked that Dr. King had a dream, and now we get to embody it. And we have thought together with the dreamers when would that day arrive? And how would that day arrive? And it seems as though overnight, in the midst of a crisis, the dream has become a pregnant reality.

So now as the baby is coming to term, how are we to care for the dream and vision and our new delicate and resilient reality? How are we to live together? And struggle together? How do we choose one another? How do we say yes to each other? Listen to each other and feel each other and root for and encourage one another?

And in this time how can we heal one another? You see I have many more questions than answers. We have moved from objections, a legal or judicial move, to questions. That is a poetic move. And the move from questions to intention is the work of the singer. And the move from intention to drama and tension is the work of the playwright. And the move from drama and tension to actualization is the work of the actor. Places everyone.