It’s been an interesting last few days, since the passing of Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire. As an associate of Al McKay’s (former guitarist of the band), my feelings are mixed. Clearly, Maurice was a visionary—understanding that music and message were intrinsically linked and that our spiritual associations were due for a update. But he was also a difficult task-master, demanding and not always even handed with the people under his leadership.

In the end, however, we must access his life as the balancing act that it was. The music business was always difficult, and there were so many who would undermine any vision that was being pursued. Being a man of color made his realization of EWF that much more inspiring. And in that light, I honor the vision and the result of the important musical and social influence that was accomplished by Maurice and all the members of the group who anchored something larger than themselves.

That is a special and precious thing. God bless us all.

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