As I often do on the weekend, I recruited my oldest sone, Owen, to help me with running an errand. I like hanging out with him and he likes riding in the front seat and feeling like a big kid. Plus, there's the magic of the car ride, which somehow causes kids to open up and talk more than they do when face-to-face in the house.
On the car's audio system we were listening to Blackalicious' "Supreme People." The chorus is pretty straight-forward---"Su-preme (Supreme, Supreme) [x8]", audio here---but something dawned on Owen:
O [looking at the media player display]: Ohhhhh! They're saying "supreme, supreme!" I thought they were saying "seriously? seriously?"
me [smiling]: Yup. That would be funny if he was saying "srsly?!" like you and Marcus do.
O: What does supreme mean?
me: It's similar to being super, or impressive, or very good at what you do. It can also mean that you're the best.
me: Do you know who he's referring to when he says that?
O [thinking]: Well, it says supreme people, so maybe he's talking about his friends.
me: Yup. But actually he's talking about an entire group of people. Can you think of who those people might be?
O [long pause]: Black people?
me: Yeah, that's right. Do you know why he might want to say that over and over?
me: Well, it's because some people don't think that Black people are very good at things. They think they are inferior just because they are Black. Do you know which group of people often thinks that?
O: Yeah, white people.
me: Yes, sadly. They don't even know they're doing it a lot of the time. But we Black people can feel it. All the time. So we have to pump ourselves up, like Gift of Gab does in this song. We're actually supreme in all that we set our minds to do.
O: Well, I think it's like chess. There are black pieces and white pieces. And I think both sides are good, and I think both sides can win half of the time.