With today marking the end of Black History Month, I have to take the time to watch one of my favorite movies, Miracle’s Boys. The movie is based off of a novel (with the same name) by Jacqueline Woodson and follows the hardships that three brothers face growing up on their own in Harlem following the death of their mother. The-N premiered this story as a six-part miniseries in February 2005 as a part of its Black History Celebration. I’ve watched it from time to time since then and each viewing feels just like the first. It’s a great story and the cast is easy to love.
Background: Pooch Hall, who some of you may know as Derwin from the Game, plays the oldest brother Ty’Ree. This was actually my first time seeing him act and I’m glad to see that it wasn’t the high point of his career.
Born on February 5th, 1934 (Happy Birthday Hank) in Mobile, Alabama, Henry Louis Aaron has been recognized as one of Major League Baseball’s most outstanding players. “Hammerin’ Hank" played 23 years as an outfielder for the Braves (21 years) then the Brewers (2 years) and has set a number of the sport’s most distinguished records, ranging from the number of runs batted in, total bases, extra base hits, and the most years with 30+ home runs. His accomplishments had once earned him the title of the [all time home-run king], although his record for most career home runs (755!) was broken in 2007 by Barry Bonds, another famous black athlete.
Alexander Lucius Twilight
Going a bit further back in time, Alexander Twilight was born in Corinth, Vermont on September 26, 1795 and is believed to be the first black American to graduate from an American university. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College in 1823 and went on to become a minister and an educator. He led congregations in Vergennes and Browington, Vermont, and was designated as the principal of Brownington’s Orleans County Grammar School, later known as Brownington Academy. He was also the first African American to serve in Vermont’s state legislature.
Novelist Terry McMillan was born in Port Huron, Michigan on October 18, 1951 and has used her work to celebrate the essence of black women and spotlight the day to day life of the African American female in our society. You may be familiar with a few of her more popular works, such as Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, both of which were later turned into films. She obtained her bachelor’s from the University of California at Berkeley and her master’s from Columbia University before going on to later teach at the universities of Wyoming and Arizona.
Today is the start of Black History Month and of course, [electrostaticlove] is going to get into the spirit. [All Black Everything] is my Black History Celebration endeavor and we’re starting with Langston Hughes.
James Mercer Langston Hughes was a shining example of diversity in American history. This part-African American, part-White American, part-Native American playwright, author, and columnist was one of the Harlem Renaissance’s most reputable figures. Born February 1st, 1902 (Happy Birthday Langston) in Joplin, Missouri, Hughes grew up with his grandmother after his parents divorced during his early childhood. Shortly after moving to Lincoln, Illinois to live with his mother, Langston began writing poetry. He released his first book of poetry, entitled The Weary Blues, in 1926, and his first novel, Not Without Laughter, in 1930.
Langston Hughes is recognized for his dramatic portrayals of African American life in the first half of the 20th century. He played upon the real day-to-day aspects of living in the United States, from the suffering and injustice to our love and growth in the world of music, language, and art. His poems, short stories, novels, and plays incorporated elements of his personal life and the objective black experience.
Hughes passed away in 1967 after complications arose from prostate cancer. In spite of his premature death, he managed to write over 50 literary works, become a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., receive honorary degrees from both Howard and Lincoln University, receive an NAACP award, have his image added to the US Postal Service’s Black Heritage series of postage stamps, and have a school and his old block on 127th street in New York City named after him.
The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.
-Langston Hughes, My People