Week 1, Week 2, Week 3
Oh, Sister, Sister... you don't know much I've missed ya. Those crazy twin-related shenanigans Tia and Tamera were always getting into were TV gold. Black gold. More important than the show itself was the social impact of the Mowry twins, who were the first set of African-American twins to challenge the evil empire that was Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. For years, the Olsens had dominated the twin sector of Hollywood, shunning other twins from their inner circle for fear of losing their monopoly over all things identical. Eventually, Tia and Tamera proved too much for even the Olsen twins to withstand and earned their spot in twin Hollywood history... as well as in the hearts of TGIF viewers everywhere. Happy BHM, Tia, Tamera, and the rest of the Sister, Sister gang... except for you Roger... go home!
Black History Month Great Black Person #23 of 29:
I don't think anyone truly knows the exact ethnicity of Vin Diesel, but I'm fairly sure he qualifies for this list. Over the years, poor Vin has gotten a bum rap as an inferior actor who stars in terrible movies, but that's not entirely true. He was in Saving Private Ryan, Pitch Black, and the surprisingly legit Fast Five... those are all solid. Also, his robotic acting came in handy when he voiced the Iron Giant in the (stellar) movie of the same name. Sure, Vin may not be the most talented actor in the world, but he's made some smart career choices. He's managed to pick movies that have loads of sequels and he's spent about half his career acting opposite of decidedly worse actor Paul Walker. Anyone looks like a good actor next to Paul Walker. So here's to you Vin Diesel, I'm sure we'll be seeing you soon in The Fast and the Furious 19.
Black History Month Great Black Person #24 of 29:
Much has been said and written about Queen Latifah, but behind every great black woman is a great black man. Rather than resort to jealousy, King Latifah is supportive of his wife and humbly enjoys his position away from the limelight. He admirably ignores all the ridiculous claims that his wife is lesbian and instead backs his wife in all her ambitions. Though I can't say much for his taste in women, it's hard not to respect a man who puts the happiness of others ahead of his own. Happy BHM, King Latifah... you da man and definitely not made up or anything.
Black History Month Great Black Person #25 of 29:
Give me a chance to explain before you call me a racist. There's a story behind this. Growing up, there were usually only two different beverages in my house: Coke and sweet tea. Now those are some tasty beverages, but I always felt there was something missing in my life... that is, until a new kid moved in next door. Maurice and I were fast friends and yes, he was black. (I lived in Riverdale, remember?) One day, at Maurice's house, his parents offered me a grape Crush. It was love at first taste. When it hit my lips, it was like the first time I heard the Beatles. (Sgt. Purple's Lonely Hearts Club Band?) His parents realized how much I liked it and let me have a glass every time I came over. I started asking my parents to buy it and even experimented with other black staples such as pigs feet and chitlins as a result. Those were mistakes. Anyway, I loved grape soda and I loved Maurice. So yes, it's a stereotype that black people like grape soda, but it's one I would be proud of, because it's delicious. So, happy BHM, grape soda (not to be confused with purple drank)... and happy BHM, Maurice. I hope after I moved away that you carried on our tradition of being the only two kids in the neighborhood to not have committed a felony.
Black History Month Great Black Person #26 of 29:
There aren't very many black superheroes... especially ones who have the ability to do us all a favor by killing Edward Cullen. Oh, who am I kidding? I like Twilight... and I'm Team Edward. Still, it's nice to have a break from those underwear-on-the-outside white superheroes. I'm not big into comic books, so all I know about Blade is from the movies, but that's enough to know that Blade has all the strengths of vampires, without all the weaknesses. This is similar to how black NFL quarterbacks have the same athletic tools as white NFL quarterbacks, without being slow or subject to helmet hair. So thanks for keeping us all safe from vampires, Blade... too bad no one was able to keep you safe from those tax auditors.
Black History Month Great Black Person #27 of 29:
Martin Luther King Sr.
MLK Jr gets all the attention, but where would he be without dear ol' dad? Martin Sr paved the way by being the pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church and an equal rights activist before Jr was even born. Yes, it's fair to say Sr was a major influence in Jr's life... just look at this well-documented conversation between the two when Jr was just a child:
Jr: Dad, I had a bad dream. Can I sleep with you tonight?
Sr: Sure son, I'm always here for you.
Jr: Thanks dad. That dream really scared me.
Sr: It's okay son, dreams aren't real. In the future, whenever you have a dream, just know that it's not real and that it'll never actually come into being.
Apparently MLK Jr didn't always listen to his father. In actuality, the two didn't always see eye to eye. In fact, Sr was a Nixon-supporting Republican at one point in his life. Still, if not for MLK Sr, there would never have been an MLK Jr and as a result, probably no Black History Month, which means I wouldn't be writing this. So, happy BHM to you, MLK Sr... sorry U2 never wrote a song about you.
Black History Month Great Black Person #28 of 29:
For my money, Calvin is the best receiver on the planet... and he went to my beloved Georgia Tech. Despite being on the receiving end of crappy Matthew Stafford's weak, wobbly passes, Johnson led all WRs in yards and touchdowns this season. Fans nicknamed him Megatron because of his power and size, but I say if the real Megatron from Transformers possessed the same skill set as Calvin Johnson, the Decepticons would have defeated the Autobots long ago. Happy Black History Month, Calvin... Go Jackets!
Black History Month Great Black Person #29 of 29:
All the fine black people everywhere who read these posts and didn't get mad
Once again, it's been a lot of fun doing the Black History Month profiles and once again I appreciate the warm reception and understanding from all the African-American readers out there. By now you're all probably good and tired of these posts, but I hope you enjoyed them because I slaved (poor word choice) over each and every one. So happy Black History Month to one and all... see you all next year.