Jazz Master David Baker on To Kill A Mockingbird [1:52]
David Baker: Well, it’s certainly it’s about prejudice, it’s about pride, it’s about prejudgment. But you know the thing that struck me most about it is the universality of traits that are found in all human beings are in this book. Particularly, the fact that it’s a book told through the eyes of a little girl as she becomes a woman. And I find that very beautiful…‘cause it’s almost biblical in the sense a child, a little child shall lead them. And I guess I’m also struck by the way that Harper Lee characterized the various players in the book. For instance, the fact that there is that duality that all human beings have that nobody’s essentially all bad or all good. And I thought that, more than anything else, she was able to capture that. And I thought about an ad that I happened to be seeing on TV the other night when I was, you know, going through the book again, and it’s the ad that Kobe Bryant does. And he talks about, “People hate me because I swagger, they hate me because I score too many points, they hate me because I’m a pro.” And then when he finishes all of that, he says very quietly, “It’s the same reason that some people love me.” And I thought about that when I thought about, you know, some of the characters here who are very, very bad, are very evil seemingly in intent. And yet then there’ll be somebody who happens that says there’s something redeemable about them.
Music: “History of an Apology” by Paul Rucker from his cd of the same name.
NEA Jazz Master David Baker (2000) tells us what he thinks Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is about. A Jazz Master talking about a Big Read novel!