How ‘America’s Got Talent’ contestant Kodi Lee shattered stereotypes about disability
By Associate Professor of the Composition, Philosophy and Analysis of Music, Vanderbilt University in The Conversation
If you haven’t seen Kodi Lee’s May 28 performance on “America’s Got Talent,” it’s worth a watch. The 22-year-old Lee is blind and has autism. His rendition of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” brought the crowd to its feet – and thrilled viewers at home.
“Loved this moment so much! Stood up and cheered in my living room!” Oprah tweeted.
Much of the media coverage portrayed Lee as someone who, in developing his musical ability to such a high level, overcame all odds – a common though sometimes troublesome trope used to describe people with disabilities who achieve any measure of success.
Lee is certainly an exciting talent. But as someone who teaches a course on the intersection of disability and music, I was moved by other aspects of Lee’s performance as well. Continue reading
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“Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers.
Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society.
Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears.
Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi
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