- Regina Bain: The Double Dutch Queen Patrick Huey 26:12
Regina Bain is many things. She is an actress. She is a singer. She is an educator and social activist. She is the Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Ask her who she is at heart, and she will tell you that she is a dancer. A Double Dutcher who finds the expression of her soul’s joy through movement.
When we pondered who would be the first guest At the Podium, Regina sprang to mind. I believed she could speak authentically to this moment. At that time in February 2021, Regina herself was making significant life transitions that inevitably caused her (like all of us) to look back at what was, even as she (like all of us) contemplated what would be. I also knew that she could find the language to express what it meant to go deep into one’s heart and excavate truths and yearnings that may have been dormant for years, and once awakened could cause one to rethink the very concept of who one is. That is a core tenant of At the Podium. When we start rummaging around in the forgotten places, the overlooked places, we start creating the space for something new to enter our lives.
There is another profound action that Regina brings to this conversation. She calls the names of those we know and those we do not know, who make impacts on our lives. To honor those names recognizes the power of community and the gifts of those who can see past race, color, social circumstance to acknowledge brilliance in another human being. It breathes life into the notion of John Donne’s “no man is an island entire of itself.” This is also at the core of At the Podium – learning to see our common humanity and our unique worth reflected in the eyes of another person and accepting that we all play a part in one another’s life journeys.
The metaphor of Double Dutch is apt. A group of people working together in time and rhythm while having a really good time in order to win that prize. To be crowned Double Dutch Queen.
Regina Bain / Louis Armstrong Home Museum
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