Thursday, February 05, 2009

Black History 28 for Change

Talk radio station WVON asked listeners to select the 28 Blacks who changed America and the 28 Blacks who are changing America.

The results are interesting. I am surprised by some and delighted at others. The order is also interesting. What do you think? Who would you add or subtract from this list. Would you change the order? How many do you actually know of?

28 Blacks Who Changed America
1. The Black Worker
2. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
3. Paul Robeson
4. Gwendolyn Brooks
5. Rosa Parks
6. Thurgood Marshall
7. John H. Johnson
8. Robert Abbott
9. Jack Johnson
10. W.E.B. DuBois
11. Mary McLeod Bethune
12. Elijah Muhammad
13. Malcom X
14. Madam C.J. Walker.
15. Ida B. Wells-Barnett
16. Frederick Douglass
17. Jackie Robinson
18. Carter G. Woodson
19. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr
20. Percy Julian
21. Edward "Duke" Ellington
22. Daniel Hale Williams
23. Harriett Tubman
24. Sojourner Truth
25. Jean Baptist-Pointe Du Sable
26. Richard Allen
27. Joe Louis
28. The Black Soldier

I gotta say Gwendolyn Brooks hitting #4 thrills me to pieces. She is a literary and personal hero of mine. And the founder of my city, Jean Baptist-Pointe DuSable, should be higher on that list. More on these two Chicagoans later.

Now, what about this next list?

The 28 Blacks Who Are Changing America
1. President Barack Obama
2. Oprah Winfrey
3. Minister Louis Farrakhan
4. Tyler Perry
5. Spike Lee
6. Rev. Al Sharpton
7. Dr. Cornel West
8. Bill Cosby
9. Will Smith
10. Russell Simmons
11. Tavis Smiley
12. Denzel Washington
13. Tom Joyner
14. Serena & Venus Williams
15. Dr. Maya Angelou
16. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson
17. Ervin "Magic" Johnson
18. Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
19. Bishop T.D. Jakes
20. Donna Brazille
21. Quincy Jones
22. Cathy Hughes
23. Tiger Woods
24. Earl Graves
25. Queen Latifah
26. Roland S. Martin
27. Morgan Freeman
28. John Singleton

I was surprised that Rev. Jackson's name was so far down on the list. I assume that is not a measure of his contributions but of his recent verbal screw ups. Or should he be on the first list?
What? No Condileeza Rice or Colin Powell?
For this list, WVON wanted selections that have impact beyond their significance to Black America and speaks to the indelible imprint they will have on the United States of America.
Do Rice and Powell belong there too?


jjbrock said...

Jackie I would remove Tiger woods and Ervin "Magic" Johnson. Where is Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr and Michael Jordan?

I agree Jackie that Rice and Powell should have been on a list.

Dustin said...

I would add Gwen Ifell under "Blacks Who are Changing America." She has always been professional even when she was verbally attacked during the debates in 2008 and in 2004.

I also think Colin Powell and Condileeza Rice should be on the list based on the ciriteria that WVON was using, "...have impact beyond their significance to Black America and speaks to the indelible imprint they will have on the United States of America."

Chris said...

I personally was glad to see Bubois on the of my favorite authors in college...yes, I had Black Studies!!!!! I like everyone on the list, but some are borderline as far as the criteria...and I agree that Rice and Powell should have been recognized...maybe not on the "right" side, but Rice was a major player in the govt. and she's a woman! And Powell is just a good guy...both are intelligent, accomplished, thoughtful, and doing a great service to their race and their country. Okay if I jump off this soap box, I might break a leg!!!!!!!

Jackie said...

Anne, no Magic or Tiger? I think Tiger changed a lot by opening up golf possibilities. There are more black folks watching, playing and competeting now because of him. Country clubs had to change their racist rules and the entire sports world had to recognize us in an area that had been all white. Magic made his mark with HIV/AIDS. He absolutely changed the way people thought of this issue. He knocked that, "it's a gay disease" out the window.
Ali, Jordan, are great additions? I agree with you 100%

Dustin, Gwen Ifell absolutely!

Chris, you had Black Studies? I am not surprised one bit. And your soap box is welcome here always.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree with Rice & Powell-should have, but I disagree about Jackson being "far down." I was surprised at how high up Sharpton was actually. I even defended Jackson with his past gaffe about Obama, because we all make mistakes, but my problem with Jackson & Sharpton is they have made some very damning mistakes & do not admit to them or try to rectify them. They have, at times, been very untruthful & super limelight seeking, even when the stated cause turns out not to shine as brightly & truly as they'd thought. I find the real truth does not pass for long undetected & lazy moral relativism is not what is needed in leaders.
There are some great black leaders in this country, but I do not believe those 2 to be amongst them.

Jackie said...

FrankandMary, thanks for stopping by and for your comment.

I do know that both Revs Sharpton and Jackson are not perfect and made big mistakes. But I have to disagree about them not being great leaders. These men have been tireless workers and the good they've done and continue to do keeps me from negating them for history's sake. I just know for a fact that the media has built a persona for both as only being limelight seekers. It's unfortunate that it is believed. I am in no way holding them up when they are wrong, but I just know all the thankless, exhausting hard work they've both done and continue to do in this society.

I like your blogs!

RiPPa said...

Jackie this is a great post! As a people we have a lot to be hopeful and celebratory about.