Cheer Black success

By BART ADAMS
Posted 6/24/22

Because I didn’t have a column last week, this is coming a little late. But as the nation celebrated our second Juneteenth national holiday Monday, it is still a good time to cheer some of the …

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Cheer Black success

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Because I didn’t have a column last week, this is coming a little late. But as the nation celebrated our second Juneteenth national holiday Monday, it is still a good time to cheer some of the many successes achieved by Black Americans.

Following is just a tiny sampling of such success stories. It was compiled by Deroy Murdock, whose syndicated columns used to appear in The Daily Record. Mr. Murdock is now a contributor to National Review and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research, based in New York.

Mr. Murdock could well include himself in the list, as this column is not nearly long enough to cover his accomplishments. An intellectual of the highest order, he has lectured and debated at the likes of Boston College, Harvard Medical School, the National Academy of Sciences, the Heritage Foundation as well as Brown, Dartmouth, Stanford and Tulane universities. And all of that merely scratches the surface of his influence.

Anyway, here’s his list, which, in his words, celebrates “so much that Black Americans have accomplished since the original Juneteenth liberated the last of some 4 million emancipated slaves.”

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON rose “Up from Slavery,” as his fascinating memoir details. Born as his master’s possession in 1856, Washington was free but spectacularly poor after the first Juneteenth. At one point, he slept beneath a raised sidewalk in Richmond, Virginia.

Washington soon educated himself, and then others. He founded Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute on July 4, 1881. It was among the first Historically Black Colleges and Universities. …

MADAM C.J. WALKER became America’s first female millionaire entrepreneur. She earned her fortune in the early 1900s by marketing hair-care products to fellow Blacks. By selling Afro Sheen before Afro Sheen, she made enough money to buy a mansion in posh Westchester, New York, near that of John D. Rockefeller.

The Netflix mini-series Self-Made dramatizes Walker’s amazing story. It stars Octavia Spencer, a black success story in her own right and an Academy Award winner, along with Sidney Poitier, Isaac Hayes, Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee, and numerous other exceptional black filmmakers.

Black musicians LOUIS ARMSTRONG and DUKE ELLINGTON co-fathered jazz, as W.C. HANDY, SIDNEY BECHET, ELLA FITZGERALD, FATS WALLER, DIZZY GILLESPIE, QUINCY DELIGHT JONES, GEORGE BENSON, WYNTON MARSALIS, and countless other Black talents still polish this all-American art form to a blinding sheen.

The TUSKEGEE AIRMEN bombed Adolf Hitler to bits and buried beneath smoldering rubble the notion that blacks lacked the brains to fly.

JACKIE ROBINSON integrated baseball. MUHAMMAD ALI was The Greatest pugilist. MICHAEL JORDAN towered over basketball. TIGER WOODS dominated golf and still competes despite severe wounds from a February 2021 car wreck.

Impresario BERRY GORDY launched a whole new sound called Motown. KENNETH CHENAULT led American Express for 17 years. URSULA BURNS was CEO of Xerox. RICHARD PARSONS ran Citigroup and TimeWarner. E. STANLEY O’NEAL’s grandfather was a slave. Two generations later, O’NEAL chaired Merrill Lynch.

COLIN POWELL and CONSOLEEZZA RICE were U.S. secretaries of state. ERIC HOLDER and LORETTA LYNCH were U.S. attorneys general. KAMALA HARRIS is vice-president. And BARACK OBAMA spent eight years as president of the United States.

Contact Bart Adams at badams@mydailyrecord.com.

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