Fifty or 60 years ago, before the mass media convinced white and black Americans that the essence of blackness was soul, most black (colored folks, in those days) had a different perspective on that essence.
More often than not, intelligent blacks I discussed the concept with back then cited finesse rather than soul. (I'm white, grew up in Tolleston in the 1940s into the '60s).
Finesse? Anyone who's ever played the card games bridge or bid whist knows finesse is taking a trick without using your ace in the hole or your trump, coming out ahead without resorting to an extreme response.
Should someone find a way to effectively convince today's urban youths, black and white, that rather than violence, finesse elicits more positive results (and doesn't earn jail time), that person should get a Nobel Peace Price. Emphasis on effectively.
Violence and fear doesn't earn or deserve respect; finesse does, or it used to.
- Michael S. Novak, Hobart