Johnny Otis, composer, musician, artist, writer, social critic, and organic farmer, “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues,” died on Tuesday.
In 1968, he published Listen to the Lambs, a memoir, social history, and racial manifesto provoked by the 1965 Watts riots. The opening paragraph captures just as much the reaction to the situation in Watts as the attitude toward the possibility of an economic crisis decades later.
There were always three approaches to this question. Those who knew it COULD HAPPEN. . .and someday WOULD. Those who were smugly sure it COULD not happen. . .and those who swept the whole thought under the carpet and refused to admit consciousness of the subject.
Well, it finally hit the fan!