Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black History Month 2013: Changing The World Through Art, Comedy, and Porn

Today's Black History Month spotlights are on 3 Afro-Americans that made it easier for blacks to mainstream in art, comedy, and porn.

Augusta  Savage:
(No - there isn't any sound to this video, but it's a lot more informative than the alternatives)

As one of the leading artist of the Harlem Renaissance,  Augusta Savage's accomplishments were many. Through a lifetime of struggling, she remained an activist for equality while becoming a renowned sculptor and art teacher which would lead to her establishment of the Savage Studio of Arts and Crafts. She helped countless young African American artist and was a key player in founding the Harlem Artist's Guild. It is because of people like Augusta Savage that there would be a a Civil Rights Movement in 40 years and in 90 years black artist, like myself, would be able to create and share our work with a greater audience.
Read more about her here.

Dick Gregory:

Dick Gregory pioneered the way for black comedians and has been a huge influence on breaking barriers between race while using his comedy to voice political messages on civil rights. Dick Gregory paved the way for African American greats like Bill CosbyRichard Pryor and President Barack Obama - Yup! President Barack Obama. Gregory has been such a zealous activist, he had the balls to attempt to run for president in 1968.
Read more about him here

Jack Simmons:

Sean Michaels is regarded as the first African American porn "SuperStar." Try searching for the first gay porn super star and you'll end up with a bunch of open ends pun intended. Seriously though, out of all of the awards given and titles handed out, it isn't clear who was the first gay black super star. So I started looking more closely at the awards given out.  Jack Simmons aka Buck Stradlin, stood out among the more mainstream porn stars. 

Jack started out in 1995 as Buck Stadlin and changed his name in honor of one of his predecessors, Joe Simmons. Jack is regarded as the first African-American to work for major studios, including Falcon, Titan, and All Worlds. 

Mainstreaming has been a controversial task for black porn stars. While it isn't easy to get work with major studios, black and latino audiences appear to shun those that do and accuse them of being sellouts. I, personally, don't feel that way, which is why I'm spotlighting Jack today. It is because of stars like Jack Simmons and Race Cooper, blacks don't have to play stereotypical roles like prison inmates and thugs all the time. They destroy the taboo of interracial mingling and portray us as people and not forbidden objects. 

1 comment: