Apr. 11, 2020

April 12th Resting In Glory Baker, Robinson, and Louis Black Excellence

April 12 in 2020 is Resurrection Sunday but in previous years April 12 was the day that we lost three of the most dynamic entertainers in America’s history. Yes, that's right 3 incredibly unforgettable talents all past on April 12. I want to salute these superstars today. You see each one was unique in there own big way. Two of these found stardom in a boxing ring and the third was one of the most beautiful women that nature ever produced.

Josephine Baker, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis each provided our ancestors so many thrills and chills. Josephine Baker had talent and beauty beyond measure. But Ms. Baker also had race pride that didn't gel with the Jim Crow tactics in venues she was asked to perform in. I mean Josephine Baker refused to bow down to this nation's bigotry and hatred. Rather than accept the dirty money of segregation Ms. Baker left monies on the table and moved away from America. She left her homeland and instead became a national war hero in her newly adopted country, France. Josephine Baker was the only woman who spoke to the assembled crowd on August 28, 1963. You know Martin Luther King, Jr.’s historic I have a dream speech day. What is a marvelous human being who adopted children of multiple races in order to provide them love and affection?

Sugar Ray Robinson brought flair, finesse, power, speed, and incredible endurance to the boxing ring. That flair also was with the Sugarman when he was out and about. I mean pound for pound there is no doubt that Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest boxer of his or anyone else's generation. His ring victories gave our black communities across the nation so much pride. I mean in a time when Jim Crow was the major opponent for black Americans it was a relief that almost every month for a period of years they could depend on Sugar Ray Robinson to lay a whipping on some boxer be he white or black.

Finally, Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber who is said to be the top heavyweight boxer of all time. Well, the entire nation rode the back of Joe Louis when the Nazis were acclimating power in the 1930s’. It was Joe Louis who silenced any notion of white Nazi supremacy when he demolished Max Schmeling in Yankee Stadium. It was Joe Louis whose boxing victories we're reason enough for huge celebrations in black communities across this nation. It was Joe Louis who never turned his back on this country even though this country never truly loved Joe Louis for his commitment to democracy and fair racial play. Wow, April 12th a day that took these three great individuals from us. Let us rejoice in the memories of Baker, Louis, and Robinson today. As the history of this nation shouldn't be blind to the contributions of blackness.