Monday, November 2, 2015
Brother Shawn Peretta
The Light Behind the Throne – Sean Peretta
Sean Peretta was one of, if not the kindest, sweetest, smartest Black men I eve met. While He attended Law School at Villanova University He worked at TV Guide Magazine, where I was also employed. We both worked as editorial assistants in the National Programming Department.
Sean Peretta had a smile that GOD depended on to help Him light up the world each and every morning. He was Black and Italian, but He knew of racial hatred & discrimination. He NEVER , EVER, however, let these evil forces make Him hateful, angry or bitter. I, an angry Black man at the time, never understood this—especially coming from a younger Black man.
To say Sean Peretta was a beautiful Black man would be like calling the lush, robust African Baobab tree a little sprout or like calling the Hope Diamond a little gem –the understatement is deeply apparent. Sean was one of the most physically beautiful men of any race I had ever known or seen. He LOVed humanity and had a female friend named Randy who was of European extraction. Sean never made any excuses about Randy being His friend. They made it through thick & thin. I don’t think they were intimate partners, but frankly, that is none of my bees wax. All I know s Randy would have given the world for Sean and Vice Versa.
The job as an Editorial Assistant at TV Guide didn’t look hard on the surface, but it did require some detailed work, concentration & punctuality. TV Guide’s Human Resources Office was literally littered with a good many pink slips from People who didn’t make the grade.
Sean LOVed Basketball. He was a fish out of water without it. He was very tall & thin like most basketball stars & basketball players are. But there was something very special about Sean that I didn’t get a chance to reflect on until now – some 15 to 20 years after His tragic death.
I never knew a man of any race – known or unknown – rich or income-challenged, who had a brighter, more authentic smile and a total honesty about His deepest persona. The secret to Sean was that it was all there. There was really nothing much very deep or secret about Him. This is the deep part—humanity& the Universe really embraced Him with all its’ might. This was a delightful man with a good joke or two who didn’t understand the concept of greed, deceit, hatefulness or resentment. My own parents didn’t represent the type of honesty of personality represented in Sean Peretta. He sat directly in front of me, across a table where we had our work. The sun light shined from behind Him through a large window. It created the impact of Sean looking like a vision in light – an angel, a beautiful Black male angel. I was so very, very honored to have met & known Sean, but it took years for me to come to terms with How much I LOVed & missed Him. Sean was straight and I Am Gay, but this made no never – mind to Him. I knew full well not to step over certain boundaries with Sean in our daily work & brief encounters that happened as part of our working in the same office.
Maybe Sean had that early Obama charm that comes with being bi-racial. He was brown. He identified as being Black. But People didn’t talk much about race around Him, although He was known to support liberal causes like, perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union or the Human Rights Campaign in the early days of their work. He also supported a few liberal Democrats in His day.
When I heard Sean died playing basketball one hot summer day and that He had had a fatal heart attack, I was more than shocked and saddened because His LOVe for humanity and People were just beginning to rub off on me. I was changing from a bitter Black radical into a more refined man with great taste in other men and fine foods. Sean was a stellar man who a lot of People at The Guide LOVed. I rarely go to funerals, but not to be at this gentleman’s funeral would not be proper at all. I remember one of His nephews or a niece [Sean had no children] saying How much they would miss their uncle. It was all very sad that Day at White Rock Baptist Church at 53rd and Chestnut Street.
Know this Sean. Please in heaven or in limbo or with the Ancient, Black African Ancestors, even from antiquity, please work to make this earth a Heaven like you may be in right now. Help me and so many other Black, Asian, Latin, Arab and White progressives make this planet a haven for Peace, prosperity for ALL, LOVe, decency, non-judgment, equality, abundance, Joy, Freedom, sharing, non-violence, non-discrimination, wealth-sharing, non-drug dependency,& sustainability. Help us save or planet’s water, air and other natural resources so they will be here for the children. Help us all come full circle in ending war and destruction and helping the rich share with all of us. And help us all make what we need to make economically to make this word a much, much better place. Protect us from the evil manipulation of others who are geared towards the destruction of this planet, its’ People and who have greed and hatred as a base of their motivations. I will never forget you and that smile. I know you can help us in this time of need. I know you Will.