In every sector, in a every landscape, in every demographic inhabiting any culture of people, the Maidens are always present. Always. Whether she be located in the countryside, or the urban sectors, she is there. In prior pieces, we have mentioned the Maidens of any garden. They are the young, dutiful women, who reflect the youthful, feminine essence, charm, and allure of any community. Of any people. They are reflections of the movements, rhythms, and beats within Earth’s spacing, in which they inhabit. Nature’s essence embodies them. In turn, they reflect her essence. The Maidens, along with other feminine archetypes, are responsible for holistic channeling of feminine energy, within the community. Though such energy is often overlooked, it is nevertheless, very important. In fact, without their presence, there will be disarray within any community. If there is a lack of nutritious energy by the feminine presence, such initiates an imbalance.
For the context of Black America, we have addressed the presence of maidens, and the reclaiming and return to our gardens. There is a level of love and nurture, arising, when the maidens are being cherished in the way, they should be. Furthermore, there is also a flourishing of comfort and peace, when the maidens arise, within their communities. This energy is everywhere. Yes! Even within the urban sectors of society, where lavish vegetation is not always vigilant, that aura of youthful, feminine richness is present. When it is captured in all arenas of its healthy energy, and awakening, so many stories begin to unfold. Observing the maiden, or key storyteller, within her urban gardens, joy and wellness is reflected. Its a holistic image of Black America’s urban context, specifically in North Philadelphia, and the very essence of poetry, love, artistry, community, and another window into (and innovations) Black American culture.
One such urban, North Philadelphia tale of magical-realism, storytelling, intimacy, and fictional-realities is through the video of the honey-timbered song, “A Long Walk,” by the one and only. . .
In the very beginning of the video, viewers are introduced to a black and white coloring of cinematography, where a glimpse of the residential architecture is taking place. Shortly after, we see the people. For the context of deeper engagement, we are introduced to this particular garden of Black American soiling. Of course, this community is not surrounded by lavish gardens or a paradise. Though, we do receive glimpses of Mother Nature’s fruition, within the neighborhood.
The very first introduction, and focal point, that the camera directs us to, is a group of Black American maidens, sitting on the front step. Their energy is warm, fruitious, and inviting. They rest well in being comfortable among each other. And because they are intertwined with each other, there is a level of comfort and intimacy, within the neighborhood. Never ever underestimate the power of collective femininity, and her ability to bring harmony, tranquility, and holistic wellness within the community. Our beloved Jill Scott, the narrator, and singing Maiden of the group, is among them. A key lesson in this visual of the video, is how the harmony of the women, stimulated healthy courtship of masculine attraction. Even in “the hood,” or urban setting, the laws of nature, still apply.
So, this young Brotha’ has the approval of her fellow maidens, in this stroll, throughout the neighborhood. Its a beautiful painting to the illustration and depiction of courtship, housing this North Philadelphian, Black American tale of love and intimacy. There is something about “taking a long walk,” that highlights the essence of humanity; when moving in particular rhythms in Earth’s spacing. Walks, slows walks, give you the illusion of slowing down time. They provide you the illusion of being quiet in time’s stillness. Certain things you begin to notice. Beautiful treasures are recognized when we decide to slow down.
From the very beginning Jill Scott is the narrator of this world. Yet, not just any storyteller. What she is actually doing is serving as the tour guide for the magic of her area-the aesthetics of her birthing. Keep in mind that she returned to her home town, in the filming of this video. She is presenting a different photograph in the capture of Black America’s North Philly community. It is one which is rarely found in the media. There are pleasantries, awakened. Comfort is found. Viewers are experiencing a sense of joy, when entering into this particular community. Life, joy, and spiritual abundance surrounds this spacing. Its an interesting migration and settlement tale for those Negro flowers of US soiling. Of course, further exploration is for another telling.
And so, she begins her walk. Urban courtship and its intimate coloring. Jill Scott is hit with coloring, as her garden maintains its black and white decor. Such technical artistry presents her as being magic, and the way that maidens have in coloring their gardens. One of the most auspicious points in the early walk, is the recognition of one’s garden-the physical and the cultural one. We observe that during a brief pause in the walk, where Scott is led towards a hanging floral bed. What is so intimate about this scene is when her lover plucks out a flower, and hands it to her. As the musical maiden that she is, she embraces this gesture, and places it in her hair. A simple act, and yet, it embodies so much richness. In him giving her a flower, he is acknowledging her femininity. Even moreso, he is acknowledging the reality that she is connected to the garden. It is powerful in a sense, that such overrides notions of her being “hard.” It overrides expectations for her to be “hard,” or removed from gentility or docility; even within an urban context. He-a Black American man-has recognized her existence as nourishing, Earthly, and soft. In turn, she rewards him with a kiss, and has accepted this recognition of her feminine essence. He is attracted to her femininity, and will enjoy the magic of her company, in this “long walk”-in this special journey, together. Its Divine. A beautiful, picturesque view of this coupling of masculine and feminine energy in one soiling of Black America’s gardens.
Passing through the neighborhood, we observe the every day living of the people. Next, is that sacred stamping of the feminine energy of the neighborhood. It is a validation that the feminine energy of this community is welcomed and appreciated. We observe this once Jill Scott stands by a mural of three Black American women. Clearly, the painting and design is also symbolic of creativity’s element, too, being welcomed (and performed) within this spacing. Before moving on any further, this has to be said. The very fascination of this video, is how it highlights the co-existence of the worlds of fiction and reality, simultaneously, co-existing. They exist within the same time frame; at exactly, the same point. Rarely, do we observe this in film; let alone in a music video. Such makes this digital artistry, that more magical and fulfilling.
A group of men are gathering together on the corner, as her Beau greets them in friendship; further testimony of the love among brotherhood, within the community. Together they bypass an elder’s workings on the barbecue grill. I’m sure there are many culinary tales, and the stories of nourishment in the neighborhood. Stories revealing their connection to Deep South, Black American cultures and their migration stories to the North. The walk continues.
Their courtship is moving. Moving through the area of adults and children at play. Such is another important feature in the video. Leaves fall upon Jill Scott’s presence, and trees surround this magical world of children’s Earthly experience, with the Universal domain! The playground is surrounded by nature. The trees are tall, wide, healthy, and decorated with their greenery. Food is being served in the playground area. Therefore, life is further associated with this residential spacing. The children, the women, the men, the elders, the people, the community. They observe themselves as significant in this area. They see themselves as beautiful Beings, within this area. Therefore, they allow themselves to preserve it. They care for it and will sustain the life, within their garden. Furthermore, the innocence of childhood is sustained. Symbols of childhood are everywhere. Once that is in play, a community will ensure that harmony will remain, at play!
Walking onto the basketball court, an elder woman passes by. Ah! Another magical spark has been showcased. Generational intertwining among womanhood, must also be kept in check. Older women and younger dames, within Black American communities, have to channel healthy feminine energy, among each other. Its crucial in sustaining the transition of a culture’s feminine knowledge. As you notice, there is peace within the video. You also observe the cohesion, celebration, nurture, and love among the women of the spacing. Again, its another example, that when a culture’s maiden and mother images are practicing and sharing holistic energy, among the community, peace will reign within the area. In this story, we are observing it.
Throughout the entire video, Jill Scott’s natural hair is revealed and worn. Surrounded by Earth’s tracing, her femininity is affirmed, once more. The colors of her attire are warm; complementing Earth’s vibe, while in North Philly’s urban sector. She is sitting in her femininity, and reflecting it within her garden. Young Black American maidens and girls do their part in re-cycling the culture, through their performance of double dutch-one; of the cultural productions of Black America’s girlhood’s past. In fact, it had been performed by our mothers, and mothers, prior.
And so, the walk has come to an end. There were beautiful pleasantries, along the way. Sights to be cherished and documented. We don’t hear or see presentations of this reality of Black America’s urban life. This form of beauty and culture is never, if rarely, highlighted on US mainstream media. Interesting enough cultural trends, birthed from them, are copied and used, in the mainstream.
The maiden is just as vigilant and glowing as ever. In this journey and tour with her garden, her handsome Beau has come to love her, even more. He sees the wonders connected with her very existence. The beauty glossing her womanhood is interconnected to a deeper realm. It is surrounded by life’s treasures. Not only is she worthy of his accompaniment, but he sees her as worthy of her protection. That is a vital lesson to be learned in this video. With flower in her hair, and Beau beside her, she has completed one maiden’s journey. Yes, in “the hood,” in Black America’s urban experiences, those tales do exist. Now that’s for future talks. Yet, if you want adventure follow a Maiden on her, long walk!
To stay up-to-date on the latest from Jill Scott, you may go onto the following:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBSrBbJVzhTr2HExOKABUBQ