We all know about Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglas, Serena Williams, Barack Obama and the other names that are typically mentioned when discussing Black History but I’ve been trying to make sure to share names that aren’t always brought up. The unsung heroes if you will. Do y’all remember my friend Rhys? I had him on ‘Le Haute Paire‘ last year for the ‘Millennial Dating’ episode, and he’ll actually be back on tomorrow’s follow-up episode! Well, he posted something on Facebook last week that caught my eye. He mentioned Kevin Hart’s new special on Netflix, and while I’m still on the fence about supporting Kevin, I was interested in seeing what the special was about.
I went on Netflix to search for it, and it was actually first on my suggested list. I watched the trailer and then settled for the next hour. I actually liked it! There were a ton of familiar faces on the special, Lil Rel, McPhonz and even the little girl from the new Fox show ‘The Passage’! But what I loved the most was the fact that they discussed Black heroes that often don’t receive the recognition they should. I don’t want to give the entire special away, but I want to highlight a few of the names mentioned.
First up, Henry “Box” Brown. Henry was a 19th-century Virginia slave who mailed himself to freedom at the age of 33. He arranged to be shipped in 1849 to abolitionists in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and during transit wrote in a diary which was then turned into an autobiography.
Then there’s Dr. Vivien Thomas. Have you heard of ‘blue baby syndrome’? Probably not since it’s practically non-existent thanks to Dr. Thomas. He discovered a procedure to treat that and served as a lab supervisor at Johns Hopkins. In fact, for most of the years he practiced he wasn’t even a doctor. He couldn’t afford to finish med school and worked as a tech, but that didn’t teach him from training other doctors. He was later given an honorary doctorate from Johns Hopkins.
And last, but certainly not least was Ms. Josephine Baker. Not only was she an amazing vocalist and dancer (like the Beyoncé of her time), but she was also a spy for Paris! Born in St. Louis, she moved to Paris and renounced her American citizenship after marrying her then husband, Jean Lion. She didn’t want to perform at segregated clubs and I honestly don’t blame her. She performed all over France and even aided the French resistance during WWII!
Kevin might not be on my best side right now, but I really did enjoy the special and I encourage y’all to watch it!