The Blind Man (1958-10-03); Heaven, Heaven (1958-11-21)


In this recording within the We Believe Series, Thurman reflects upon the spiritual, "The Blind Man Sat By the Way," which he calls a "sorrow song." When holding this song in tension with the biblical narrative of Jesus healing the blind man, Thurman comes to the conclusion that the blind man in the sorrow song was never healed. Drawing from the experience of people who were enslaved in America, Thurman reveals that there is no mentioning of the blind man being healed in the song because there was no healing upon the horizon for those who were singing the song. He continues by reflecting upon numerous stories from his life in order to further ask the question, "What do we do with frustrations when there is no freedom in sight?"

In this recording within the We Believe Series, Thurman reflects upon and attempts to reclaim the old spiritual song, "Heaven, Heaven." Thurman critiques popular conceptions of the song, stating that it overlooks the reality that every person has to navigate societal expectations with a level of compromise. The question he asks in light of compromise, however, is "At what point is the line drawn?" Here, Thurman considers the deeper question of compromise being a means of deception, and that the ethical dimension of compromise is housed in the tension between deception as a means of survival and deception as a means of ethics.

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