MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

American History Month – featuring some not so famous Black Americans

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by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Turn on the TV and you will see iconic images of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being used to sell automobiles. Seriously? This is what we as a society must guard against –  having well established heroes being used as economic pawns on the boob tube. So, how do we do this? Write letters? Protest on the Mall in Washington, D.C.? Make demands on social media and get millions of hits with a YouTube video? Remember the purpose of the last video you watched? Me neither.

The BEST way and the EASIEST way to solve this dilemma is to remember. We need to REMEMBER who we are! Yes. The purpose of every commemorative is to recall the good, and the bad, and then some more good (if possible). Every day is American History Day in the USA. Somebody is usually tinkering with something that moves us a little closer to “smarter” or “richer” or “cooler.”

I want to consider February my AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH which just happens to feature Black American citizens. The people I have commemorated here are heroic because of the determination that they showed against society, against naysayers, against a rigid system that tells US we should value things and not people.  Here is my list of genuine role models.

NOTE: I did not list the most common Americans we often see in the mainstream media. These days more like hardly see in the mainstream media. With all deference to those great Americans, I say thank you. However, this group of American heroes here are just as accomplished. We may NEVER see their faces or names used to sell ANY THING.  With that fact to put you at ease, just walk with me and remember what they stood for. Imagine how they must have struggled for what was right – WAY BACK THEN.

We may not agree with their politics or how they advanced, but we do respect their successes. So, let’s remember these important American citizens.
Some alive, others passed, who continue to give us hope:

ADVOCATE like Corey D. Flournoy
PRESIDENT
National Future Farmers of America
1994

 

COMPETE like Arthur Ashe
CHAMPION
Wimbledon Singles Tennis Champion
1975

 

DANCE like Gregory Hines
AWARD WINNER
Tony Awards – Theater
1992

DEFEND like Clarence Thomas
JUSTICE
United States Supreme Court
1991

 

ENTERTAIN like Nat King Cole
STAR
NBC Radio’s Nat King Cole Show
1956

 

GIVE ADVICE like Edward Brooke
US SENATOR
State of Massachusetts
1966

 

LEAD like Daniel Chappie James
FOUR STAR GENERAL
United States Air Force
1975

 

ORGANIZE like Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
AUTHOR
Women’s Rights Movement and Abolitionist
1858

 

PERFORM like Ella Fitzgerald
and William “Count” Basie
GRAMMY AWARD winners
1959

 

 

PERSEVERE like Lillian Elaine Fishbourne
ADMIRAL
United States NAVY
2000

 

QUESTION like Sojourner Truth
FEATURED SPEAKER
Women’s Rights Movement
1851

 

RESEARCH like Walter E. Massey
DIRECTOR
National Science Foundation

1990

 

SOAR like Jill Brown
PILOT
Texas International Airlines
1978

 

 

SPEAK like Andrew Young
U.S. AMBASSADOR
to the United Nations
1977

 

STUDY like Ernie Davis
Syracuse University
HEISMAN Trophy winner
1961

 

THINK like John Hope Franklin
PRESIDENT
American Historical Association
1975

 

VOGUE like Vanessa Williams
CROWNED
Miss America
1983

 

WRITE like Gwendolyn Brooks
AWARD WINNER
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
1950

 

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.”
.                                                                                                 ~  Martin Luther King, Jr.
.                                                                                                                 August 28, 1963
 

Copyright © 1960-2018 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

 

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Author: SpindoctorUSA

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