August 20, 2006

I'm Sorry Sir, Sammy Davis, Jr. is the Only Black Man We Own.

I knew a man Bojangles
Always danced with worn out shoes
The silver hair, a ragged shirt
And bare ragged paints
The old soft shoe
He jumps so high
He jumps so high and
Then he lightly touches down

i met him in a New orleans cafè
He was down and out.


My first take on myheritige.com (family 2.0 site) was: Hey, this is fun. You can see I played in the posts below -- the celebrity matches of me and scoble.

George was working on his computer, four feet away, and he had just lost an email he was writing that was FULL of important information--ARRGH I know that frustration, and before sleep, I showed George my celebrity matchup collage. We laughed--he said, I think it works by focusing in on certain parts of the face and then matching a part to each celebrity. I think that's about right. I said, now let me see how it does with you, and uploaded a photo of George.

I met him in a cell in New Orleans, I was
so down and out.
He looked at me to be the eyes of age,
as he spoke right out.
He talked of life, he talked of life. He laughed, clicked heels instead.

You have GOT to be kidding me. First, even though I selected MALE, it couldn't deliver more than 6 men, and the only black man they could come up with was Sammy Davis Junior? I tried it two more times to be sure.

Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles,
dance!

Never mind that I don't see a black face on the myheritage.com site. I understand from a business perspective. LOTS of white people I know are obsessd about genealogy, searching for that missing relative who will link them with a king, a queen, or a celebrity. But imagine what a tool billed as "The most powerful genealogy search engine on the planet" could do if it were to tackle the REAL genealogy challenges of the black Americans whose relatives missed the Ellis Island Experience. Or at least recognize variations in skin tone as part of its matching algorithms.

From the Faces of the world's 4,000 most famous men and women, this is it?

He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs
throughout the South.
He spoke with tears of fifteen years how his dog and he
traveled about.
His dog up and died, dog up and died, after twentyyears he still grieved.

Maybe that'll be what Family 3.0 is about. In the mean time, don't be too concerned. The technology isn't completely lame on the layers of humanness around ethnicity: George Sessum, meet your long lost cousin, Joi Ito. Your two photos actually share a resemblance. Maybe there's a connection.

I'm adding on to this post, because I'm sleepy and I shouldn't be writing at 6 in the morning without sleep, because as I think in a broader context, I'm wondering is it the skin COLOR thing that's bothering me, which actually it isn't, because of course we're all mixed (sorry my white supremicist brothers), or is the stupidest part that Sammy Davis, Jr. is the closest match they can deliver, probably BECAUSE of his skin color, even though the two look NOTHING alike, not even in the pix. I mean a couple of the other photos look more like George...... Oh hell. They do NOT. None of them work. No, I'm standing by my ire. 4,000 of the world's most famous people, and you give me Sammy? Naw. Nope. Not okay.




He said, I dance now at every chance in honky tonks
for drinks and tips.
But most of the time I spend behind these county bars.
He said, I drink a bit.
He shook his head and as he shook his head I heard someone ask, please

Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles
Mister Bojangles,
dance!
Click here to create your own Celebrity Collage

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