Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Let Us Now Praise Great Men
It was nearly one year ago that I met E.C. Hopkins during an exchange at Blacksmythe. We debated the bona fides of Tyler Perry as an artist. I quickly learned that I wasn't in his intellectual weight class. His great acumen, however, was matched by his gentility. It is all too easy for the demigods that walk among us mortals to fall into snobbery and disdain for their subalterns. E.C. bypassed this trapdoor.
I followed the link attached to his byline and glanced at his bio. Months went by as I continued to visit Blacksmythe but saw no sign of Hopkins. I would periodically wonder "Where is that brother from Arizona who was around these parts a while back?" Then I encountered his forum again.
Without meeting E.C. Hopkins I doubt that I would ever reread The Theban Plays of Sophocles, much less draw similarities between Creon and George W. Bush. Brother Hopkins is the embodiment of the best of Ralph Ellison, a man who takes complete ownership of the best of West European civilization without renouncing his particular Black cultural folk heritage. Cobb gave a much better tribute to E.C. If you haven't done so already, please check it out.
After writing all this I hope E.C. doesn't pull a Roger Clemens and immediately announce that he is coming out of retirement. Just kidding. I would love to read his lengthy expositions again. E.C. Hopkins is the only person who could use words like 'suzerainty' and not exude superciliousness. Heck, I wouldn't even use words like 'superciliousness' if it were not for him. He truly is and remains nonpareil.