Black History Month 2011

Black History Month Great Black Person #1 of 28: Erby Walker
Erby worked at The Varsity from 1953-2008. He provided the city of Atlanta with chili dogs, onion rings, PCs, and pretty much just straight up happines for over 50 years. Erby is proof that whether you're black or white, there's only one color that matters... Frosted Orange.

Black History Month Great Black Person#2 of 28: Shredward Cullen
Shredward is a Petal legend and a role model to African-American office appliances everywhere. He's the kinda guy who's always there for you, especially when you need something torn into tiny strips. He's shredded papers, folders, notecards, cans, tupperware, cds, and rulers, all with a servant's heart. I am truly blessed to have such a great machine in my classroom. I love you, Shredward Cullen.
Black History Month Great Black Person #3 of 28: Domino Fruscione

Domino is one of my very favorite pets in the entire world. After a rough kittenhood, Domino shed his slave name of Jafar when Anthony Fruscione adopted him. Though abandoned by his catmom, Domino has gone on to excel in jumping, climbing, running, playing parachute, playing backflip, and letting people touch his tenders. Though rambunctious, there is truly not a more submissive cat on earth. Domino, african-american hero.
Black History Month Great Black Person #4 of 28: Aunt Jemima
Racist? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely. Aunt Jemima pancakes and syrup were a staple in the Hammock household growing up. For some, the spokeswoman is a negative stereotype, but for me, Aunt Jemima is purely positive. In the mornings, Aunt Jemima greets me with a warm, loving smile... unlike those asinine cereal characters, always telling you how grrrreat their cereal is. Aunt Jemima doesn't need to boast, she lets her food do the talking. Thanks for all the years of delicious hotcakes, Aunt Jemima.

Black History Month Great Black Person #5 of 28: half of Drake

Half black. Half Jewish. All Canadian. One can learn a lot from the multi-cultural, multi-talented Drake. As an actor in Degrassi, Drake taught me not to mess with the school outcast, or you'll get shot. As a rapper, he helps me learn... the square root of 69 IS 8 something... rosetta stone IS a powerful tool for learning a new language. Most of all, Drake teaches us all to take some time out to just to live life, mane. It's not hard to find your love, Drake... it's right here. Hey. Hey. Hey. 

Black History Month Great Black Person #6 of 28: Franklin from Peanuts

Hey Charlie Brown, you think being called a blockhead and 

getting that football pulled out from under you is rough? Try being the only black kid in the entire comic strip. Franklin never let it bother him though, as he was a terrific addition to creator Charles Schulz's Peanuts crew... even if he did require a little more shading. Not too much is known about Franklin other than he was a loyal friend, a good student, and the only member of the Peanuts gang who could dunk. Happy BHM, Franklin!

Black History Month Great Black Person #7 of 28: Call of Duty: Black Ops

With 7+ million copies sold in the first 24 hours, COD: Black Ops really stuck it to those elitist White Ops. Set during the Cold War, Black Ops is more than just a fun game full of gunfire and explosions, it's... no that's pretty much it. More than anything, COD Black Ops reminds us all of one thing... war is hella fun.

Black History Month Great Black Person #8 of 28: Steve Urkel 

"Did I do that?" Yes Steve, you did, if by "that" you mean "touch the hearts of people everywhere." Portrayed by the greatest actor of my generation, Jaleel White, Steve Urkel shattered the black gangster stereotype that was so prevalent in other 90s TV shows such as Law & Order and Hangin' With Mr Cooper. Thanks Steve, for making Friday nights fun for the whole family, cuz as we all know, family matters.

Black History Month Great Black Person #9 of 28: Andre 3000

What's cooler than being cool? There was a time in my life when I didn't know the answer to that question. I do now, thanks to Andre 3000. (It's ice cold.) Dre has represented the ATL well with a decade of hits as part of personal fave Outkast. I actually thought about featuring the King of Pop today, but I like 3000 better. I'm sorry Mike Jackson, I'm I'm I'm just being honest.

Black History Month Great Black Person #10 of 28: old spice commercial guy

Look at your fb status, now look my status, now yours, now back to mine. The old spice body wash commercials are an all-time fave of mine, thanks primarily to the impossibly charismatic black guy who stars in them. Someday, I wanna be just like him... until then, I'm on a horse.

Black History Month Great Black Person
#11 of 28: Katy Perry 

Ok, so I was originally gonna do Tyler Perry, but I don't particularly like him or his work... I mean, how many times can Madea go to jail? What if I don't wanna meet the Browns? Am I even allowed to see For Colored Girls? So. Katy Perry. Black? No. Black hair? Yes. She's prolly distantly related to Tyler. She did date a black guy once too. Anyway, I love me some Katy Perry, so deal with it.

Black History Month Great Black Person
#12 of 28: Hootie

Nobody cares about you And The Blowfish... this is Hootie's world and we're all just living in it. The talented Hootie (Darius Rucker) rattled off hit after hit in the 90's as a pop singer and then, just for kicks (101.5), became a country singer in the 2000s where he's currently dominating the country music charts. (Suck it, Brad Paisley.) Last year, Rucker became only the 2nd African-American to win a Country Music Award... someday I hope to be the 3rd. Happy BHM, Hootie... I only wanna be with you.

Black History Month Great Black Person
#13 of 28: the black power ranger

It may not have been the same in your neighborhood, but in Riverdale, where I grew up, everyone wanted to be the black power ranger... including me. BUT NO, I had to be the red one or the blue one or that one awful time, the pink one. "Hammock, you're too white to be the black power ranger." Those words still sting. And so it was in my neighborhood... me as the red ranger, the other white kid as the blue ranger, and 17 little black rangers all pretend-fighting evil together. Now that I live in Newnan, I figured not as many people would have dibs on being the black ranger, but turns out, no one besides me wants to play power rangers anymore.

Black History Month Great Black Person #14 of 28: Kingsley Shacklebolt 

If you've never read Harry Potter, then you probably don't know who this is. Also, if you've never read Harry Potter, stop reading this and start reading the first HP book immediately... it's the greatest series ever written. Anyway, Kingsley is an auror, which is a wizard who fights to protect against dark magic. That right there is enough to earn him BHM Person of the Day... but wait, there's more. Kingsley helped organize the Underground Hogwarts Express during the Wizard Civil War. He also plays bass in a wizard band that had an album (Wolfgang Amadeus Order of the Phoenix?) go triple-galleon. And oh yeah, he's currently the Minister of Magic... a role I hope he'll reprise when JK Rowling finally gives in and writes an 8th book.

Black History Month Great Black Person #15 of 28: Reverend Starks

If you went to Landmark Christian School circa 2000, you know Rev. Starks. Rev. Starks was the school cook when I was in high school. During that time, Landmark was the only school in the nation to serve soul food for lunch. Ribs, collards, cornbread... that's what's up. Even better, in the mornings Rev. Starks made omelets the size of your head for only a dollar. Lucky we had Coach Thorn back then too to make us run off the extra pounds. (I couldn't find a picture of Rev. Starks, so I used Denzel Washington instead.)

Black History Month Great Black Person #16 of 28: JP from Angels in the Outfield
 When I was a kid, Angels in the Outfield was one of my top 10 favorite movies. Now it's top 5. Last year, my softball team was losing badly, so I started waving my arms like an angel from left field and isome of the other guys did it too... pretty cool... except for the angels didn't show up and we lost 22-5. Anyway... JP... what a cute kid. He's my favorite character in the movie, which is saying something, cuz I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I feel the attached pic really captures JP's essence. The only bad thing is it came from a website called, which seems hella shady.

Black History Month Great Black Person #17 of 28:
Donald Glover

You probably know Donald Glover as Troy from the tv show Community (great show), but he's a veritable black of all trades. He was a writer for another great show, 30 Rock, a member of the popular comedy troupe Derrick Comedy, and is a pretty legit rapper, rapping under the stage name Childish Gambino. The rap gig is particularly appealing to me cuz he raps over songs from indie bands (Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective, Sleigh Bells) and does it with more wit, charm, and style than 90% of real rappers out there. (I'm looking at all but one of you, Wu-Tang Clan.) Glover also earned a cult following on twitter after he launched a campaign to be the first black spiderman in the next spiderman movie. #happyBHM @donaldglover!

Black History Month Great Black Person #18 of 28: LeVar Burton

 Before Reading Rainbow, I always thought that the most I could possibly go was as high as a butterfly, but no, that show taught me I can go TWICE as high. Now I know that LeVar Burton has done more than just Reading Rainbow, but Roots and Star Trek weren't exactly of interest to me as a child, so I'm sticking with nostalgia. Thank you LeVar, for showing me Where The Wild Things Are, for letting me ride on The Magic School Bus, and explaining what happens If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Happy BHM LeVar, you are truly deserving of this honor... but you don't hafta take my word for it...

Love, DaVid

Black History Month Great Black Person #19 of 28: Carlton Banks

 Where would we be without the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Probably still in West  Philadelphia getting in fights with guys who are up to no good. And where would the show be without snarky cousin Carlton? I don't even wanna think such thoughts. The short, preppy Carlton was always good for a laugh, but let's not forget the impact he had on the world we live in today. Carlton made it okay for african-americans to wear pastel colors. You're welcome, Kanye. He made it cool to be polite and well-spoken. You're welcome, Wayne Brady. He invented a little dance that's fun and easy to do. You're welcome, white people. So thank you Carlton, for all that you did, and continue to do in re-runs on TV Land.

Black History Month Great Black Person #20 of 28: the Chief from Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

 Without the Chief, we may never have been able to find Carmen Sandiego. Her firm leadership and impeccable clue-giving enabled gumshoes everywhere to stay right on tail of the elusive crminal mastermind. Of course, half of those gumshoes were too retarded to get the loot and the warrant BEFORE the arrest, letting the crook off scot-free, but that's hardly the Chief's fault. Yes Chief, we couldn't have done it without you... of course, if Carmen was hiding in Africa, southeast Asia, or eastern Europe, we couldn't do it with you. Seriously, nobody ever won when it was Asia. Anyway, thank you Chief for your many years of service... we salute you!

This post was paid for by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the annual support of Viewers Like You.

Black History Month Great Black Person 
#21 of 28: law-abiding rappers

With rap and hip-hop at an all-time high in popularity, youngsters have really started looking up to rappers. Unfortunately, many rappers have sordid pasts and bad reputations... so this installment of Great Black Person goes out to all those lyricolosists who have never been arrested or served time. Sadly, this means no:

waka flocka, ja rule, wiz khalifa, kid cudi, akon, big lurch, black rob, c-murder, capone, dmx, da brat, eve, flesh n bone, gucci mane, foxy brown, lil boosie, lil wayne, lil kim, lloyd banks, mystikal, odb, prodigy, r kelly, p diddy, vanilla ice (blackness under review), slick rick, snoop dogg, steady b, styles p, suge knight, t.i., travie mccoy, tupac, or jeezy. 

So pretty much the honors today go to will smith and kanye west... and kanye, you were mean to taylor swift, so you don't get to be part of this either. Happy BHM, will smith!

Black History Month Great Black Person
#22 of 28: the Famous Jett Jackson

Long before Hannah Montana, there was the original Disney Channel star who had the best of both worlds... Jett Jackson. Jett managed to seamlessly transition between a life as a normal high school student and the life of a famous actor. Unlike Miley Cyrus, Jett wasn't afraid of his own celebrity and didn't need to live a double life. Also unlike Miley, he didn't feel it necessary to burden the world with an auto-tune heavy singing career. Thanks Jett, for entertaining us with your show... and for entertaining us with the show inside your show... also you were in Friday Night Lights.

Black History Month Great Black Person 
#23 of 28: the smoke monster from Lost

Even without speaking, the Smoke Monster struck fear into the hearts of the Lost castaways for 6 whole seasons. If that doesn't deserve an Emmy, I don't know what does. Just steal one from Mad Men... they'll never know. Not very many people know this, but the Lost Island isn't exactly the most open-minded of places. For years and years, it only employed white smoke monsters... making the black smoke monster's triumphs all the more astounding. So happy BHM, smoke monster from Lost, you are to be celebrated... as is Lost as a whole cuz it's pretty much the best show of all-time.

Black History Month Great Black Person #24 of 28: Ollie the Weatherman

"It's gon rain!" The first time I saw that, I laughed so so hard. Though Ollie is a fairly minor character in Family Guy, his abbreviated outbursts are loved by all. I can't say for sure, but I think Ollie is probably a pretty great weatherman too... he's been at the same station since 1999 after all. Thanks for all you do Ollie... every second you're on the screen is one less second that Peter is singing "The Bird is the Word."

Black History Month Great Black Person #25 of 28: Dr. Turk 
I'm no superman... but Turk from Scrubs sure is. Turk is a skilled surgeon, a loving husband, a loyal friend, and a talented 'find the saltine' player. Whether he's jamming in his air band, being the base in Eagle, or fulfilling his duties as half of multi-ethnic siamese doctor, Turk always makes me laugh... and I hear that's the best medicine. That and penicillin. So happy BHM Brown Bear, you are scrub that gets love from me, no matter what TLC says.

Black History Month Great Black Person #26 of 28: Chocolate Milk

Milk = good for you. Chocolate milk = great for you. There's really not much to say about chocolate milk other than it's just about the most delicious there is to drink. There is that unfortunate stigma of chocolate milk being a kid's beverage. Wish I could do something about that. Same goes for grilled cheese. Yes, there should definitely be a grown-up restaurant that serves grilled cheese and chocolate milk... and the founder should be a black guy... then this post would actually have something to do with black history month.

Black History Month Great Black Person #27 of 28: Joe Hamilton

My all-time favorite football player. Joe Hamilton was a four-year starter at QB for Georgia Tech and was absolutely robbed of the 1999 Heisman Trophy. A fellow HTS grad, Joe made Tech fans everywhere proud to be Jackets. I love you Joe Hamilton.

Black History Month Great Black Person #28 of 28: all the fine black people who read all these posts and didn't get mad at me

It's been a lot of fun writing all these BHM Great Black People profiles, but right from the start I was worried I might offend someone. Hopefully that was never the case. From what I can tell, everyone seemed to be pretty cool with it, so thanks for that. I'm kinda sad to see February end because I enjoyed this so much... hopefully you did too. Thanks for reading and thanks for all the support... only 337 days til Black History Month 2012... and it's a leap year!