The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library’s TEDxSomerville speaker songs 2: Clarence Smith, Jr.

For the remainder of 2012, The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library will be releasing one recording per week of the 25 songs created to honor the speakers at this year’s TEDxSomerville, accompanied by videos of their TEDx talks (see all previously released at:

While the event was back in March, it has taken us a while to roll out these recordings (…and we’re still working on them!). Here’s a recap of our experience and songs, Tanya’s experience recap, and the story of how the songs were presented at the TEDxSummit in Qatar by TEDxSomerville Executive Director C. Todd Lombardo.

Our 2nd song, a happy little ditty about Clarence Smith, Jr. was written under interesting circumstances. While we wrote all of the songs for TEDx without having heard the speakers’ talks, we mostly had titles and abstracts. For Clarence Smith, Jr., we only had a talk title to go on – no abstract, no additional information. We did a little research and found that he had a website at: We saw that he had interesting stories to tell and thought it would be fun to focus on the website’s “Do You Know Clarence?” theme. Check out his great talk and get to know Clarence!

Do you know Clarence? I mean, DO YOU KNOW CLARENCE? Clarence Smith Jr. is a writer and storyteller. He draws inspiration from the lives of people like Muhammad Ali, Ernest Shackleton, Marshall “Major” Taylor, and… you. Clarence is the editor-in-chief of the new online publication BOLD Edition, which is a narrative, journalistic exploration of the extraordinary within the commonplace.
He tells us how he learned about racism, and other important things, by visiting a place not commonly known for its educational abilities: the barbershop.

D – A – D
Do you know Clarence?
do do do do da do
He adds the extra to the ordinary
think you can’t learn from barbershops
but to the contrary