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The World in Darkness

Miracle Baby, His Own Way Of Seeing, Detroit And Change, Using Sound To See The World

Stevie Wonder remembers when he first became aware that he was blind. Stevie said, “I'd be wallowing around in the grass back of the house, and I'd get myself and my clothes soiled. My mother would get on me about that. She explained that I couldn't move about so much, that I'd have to try and stay in one place.”

This was when Stevie was about five years old. Keeping a five-year-old in one place might be the hardest thing any parent can try to do. Lulu Hardaway, Stevie's mother, wasn't very successful. When Stevie did stay in one place, he used to jump up and down. This was his way of knowing that the world was around him. He wanted to be part of the world. He needed sound to understand how the world worked. Stevie used his hearing to identify with that world.

“There's one thing you gotta remember about sound,” Stevie said. “Sound happens all the time, all the time. If you put your hands right up to your ears, if you close your eyes and move your hands back and forth, you can hear the sound getting closer and farther away. Sound bounces off everything, there's always something happening.” Although he was blind, Stevie Wonder knew early in his life that sound was going to help him to learn, live, and succeed.

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Musician BiographiesStevie Wonder