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whitecarnations's avatar

Culture Appreciation: Who is your favorite African American hero?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635points) February 27th, 2012

In lue of African American history month I asked this question. Let’s try not to use the same person twice! This will be exciting. I’ll go first.

My favorite African American hero is Jimi Hendrix. Particularly because of his demeanor. I think it’s a bonus that he served the U.S. Military. But watching his interviews I get the sense that his expression even through formal talking was really abstract and in a positive manner.

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45 Answers

Rheto_Ric's avatar

Have to go with Richard Pryor. One of the first stand-up comedians I ever saw – on videotape, that is. Spoke with honesty, spoke from the heart, and had a fearless persona. And of course incredibly funny! (always a bonus when you’re a stand-up comedian.)

Bellatrix's avatar

Martin Luther King. I wonder what impact he would have continued to have on the civil rights movement had he not been assassinated.

FutureMemory's avatar

Considering what she’s accomplished, I would have to say Oprah Winfrey.

If not her, I’d pick Hypocrisy_Central.

ucme's avatar

Ali, not for nothing known as the greatest.

Brian1946's avatar

Harriet Tubman, who was not only instrumental in freeing slaves by using the Underground Railroad, but also worked with Susan B. Anthony to help procure the right to vote for women.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Gregory Hines, Bill Cosby. Ali was my first choice, but some tea slurping wannabe colonialist grabbed him.

keobooks's avatar

I have admired Malcolm X. The guy was so motivated to learn and improve himself all the time. He was also not afraid to admit he was wrong and change his ways even though it eventually cost him his life.

Most people remember that he was part of the militant Black Islam movement, but they don’t know that about a year before he died, he realized that he wasn’t actually following true Islam and converted. He had dedicated his life to peace and harmony between races and cultures. He was assassinated shortly after this. I frequently wonder what he would have been like if he were allowed to grow old.

filmfann's avatar

Willie Mays and Rickey Henderson played Baseball as well as it could be played, though both were subjected to ridicule and racism.

blueiiznh's avatar

Maya Angelou

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
~Maya Angelou

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@filmfann How about the first black MLB baseball player? And I’m drawing a total blank on his name.

keobooks's avatar

May I have another one? Nat King Cole. I seriously love his voice. It’s so soft and velvety. I know that sounds weird but when I think of his music, thousands of very happy memories come up.

I didn’t know he was black until I was a teenager. I think his voice transcends everything.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Film major coming through.

Sidney Poitier and Nichelle Nichols are far and away my biggest personal African-American heroes. I’d go so far as to say that Poitier paved the way for every African-American in the film industry today. Nichols did the same for African-American women and women in general. She was one half of the first televised inter-racial kiss. A little background on that scene: Aliens are making Kirk and Uhura act for their own pleasure, which is why the kiss happens. Interestingly enough, the scene was shot twice, once where Kirk manages to fight off the alien influence and doesn’t kiss Uhura. However, when they were editing the episode together, they saw that William Shatner had crossed his eyes at the last minute, so the shot was unusable and they had to go with the kiss.

Oh, and did I mention she was a NASA recruiter and recruited the first American woman and African-American to go into space?

digitalimpression's avatar

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
-Michael Jordan

Blackberry's avatar

Malcolm X, he was the bad cop, and MLK was the good cop lol.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude I actually might change mine to her.
@KatawaGrey That’s sweet, I’ve never seen that, but darn that is bad acting, lol.

King_Pariah's avatar

Morgan Freeman

thorninmud's avatar

I greatly admire Frederick Douglass.

“I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”

incendiary_dan's avatar

Nat Turner and Robert F. Williams.

Rheto_Ric's avatar

Side note: why has a film never been made of Harriet Tubman, aside from an animation?? An incredible human being and an incredible story.

YoBob's avatar

I have to go with Morgan Freeman for suggesting that the only sensible way to address racial issues is to quit making them an issue

Edit: Sorry @King_Pariah, I see you already mentioned him…

Lightlyseared's avatar

Mary Seacole

King_Pariah's avatar

@YoBob No problem, just more loving for the old guy, right? :)

bkcunningham's avatar

In recognition of America’s Black History Month, I would say Benjamin S. Turner, Robert Smalls, Jefferson Long, Jermmiah Haralson, Hiram R. Revel, Robert C. DeLarge, Blanche K. Bruce, Richard H. Cain, Joseph H. Rainey, Alonzo J. Ransier, James T. Rapier, Robert B. Elliot, John R. Lynch, Josiah T. Walls, Charles E. Nash and John A. Hyman. These 16 Black men served in the US Congress during Reconstruction. Think about that. Amazing. Many served in their state’s conventions and helped in the ratification of the 14th Amendment.

whitecarnations's avatar

@Lightlyseared I’m not familiar with Mary, care to share?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

There are so many, I can’t choose.

Judi's avatar

I grew up reading The Underground Railroad and have always admired Harriet Tubman.

Kardamom's avatar

George Washington Carver. He is mostly known for being a botanist, who introduced other sustainable/useful crops to the South, most notably peanuts, that were an alternative to cotton. Cotton had been grown almost exclusively for a long period of time, and because different crops weren’t rotated, the cotton eventually depleted the soil of nutrients. Later, the boll weevils almost decimated the cotton crops. He was also an inventor who promoted the use of peanuts in over 100 products, thus creating a market for the new crop as well as introducing a new form of nutrition for the poor sharecroppers, and crop sustainability . He also introduced soybeans and sweet potatoes as alternatives and rotations to cotton.

Judi's avatar

@Kardamom , that was my second choice. I also read, “The Peanut Man” over and over again.

flutherother's avatar

Gil Scott-Heron. A great jazz man and his father played for Glasgow Celtic Football Club.

“But we, as Black people, have been a source of endless energy, endless beauty and endless determination. I have many things to tell you about tomorrow’s love and light. We will see you in Spring” – from the liner notes to “Winter in America”.

bkcunningham's avatar

@whitecarnations, Mary Seacole is known for many things in her native Jamaica and around the world, among them was the assistance she gave to Florence Nightingale in her fight for the health and welfare of soldiers.

deni's avatar

Michael Jackson. Can we please not bring his skin color changing freak show into this? He’s the fucking man.

Nullo's avatar

Nick Fury.

fujivelo's avatar

Villian: MFDOOM (this of course is a joke)

boffin's avatar

Walter Payton

The Tuskegee Airmen

Count Basie

Bellatrix's avatar

Wow. Some amazing people named here. Great Question too @whitecarnations.

I love Sidney Poitier @KatawaGrey.

saint's avatar

Muhammed Ali

Earthgirl's avatar

Ben Carson One of the first brain surgeons. He overcame so many disadvantages.His story is amazing.
I have always loved Sidney Poitier too.

Ruby Bridges

Writers James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison and Rosa Parks

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