Category Archives: Black History Month
When World Wrestling Federation superstars “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas and “Soul Man” Rocky Johnson (as in the father of the most electrifying man in sports-entertainment…) were put together as a tag team, they became one of the top favorite and most popular tag teams in pro wrestling in the early 1980s. Atlas and Johnson’s popularity, collectively known as “The Soul Patrol”, helped propel them to a shot at the WWF World Tag Team Championship and a no-disqualification match against Afa and Sika (aka, The Wild Somoans) on December 6th, 1983 on an episode of Championship Wrestling. Due to a mistake by the Wild Somoan’s manager, Captain Lou Albino, the Soul Patrol were able to take an advantage and captured the World Wrestling Federation World Tag Team Championship, becoming the first all African-American tag team to carry out such a feat.
Warren Spector. Randy Pitchford. Will Wright. What doe these gaming gods have in common.
What? NO, the answer has nothing to do with them NOT being black. They all wear glasses. Geez people, I thought we didn’t look at each other based on race.
Anyway, Blacks In Gaming is an organization (with sponsorship backing from Microsoft) that plans to involve itself in new projects, tech, local chapters, up and coming entrepreneurial ventures, collaborative networking and gaming curriculums in schools and universities. BIG members are gaming industry professionals who voluntarily give their time to share their experiences and insight to their exciting careers. Although it can be difficult to get into the gaming industry, BIG feels that their involvement in the process could break through those barriers. Their mission is to provide support to anyone who wants to be part of the gaming industry (gamers included) via various networking opportunities, outreach programs, mentorships, and entrepreneurships. Read the rest of this entry
While I could say a joke about the irony of a black man becoming wealthy but inventing a new gun – you’re welcome, internet – I’m taking the high road; or at least into a territory of fun, childhood memories…like THE SUPER SOAKER!! The best water gun from the 90′s was invented by American engineer Lonnie George Johnson, and the Super Soaker became the top-selling toy in the United States in the early 1990′s. Read the rest of this entry
Norma Merrick Sklarek (April 15, 1928 – February 6, 2012) was the first African-American woman to be licensed as an architect in the United States — the first to be licensed in the state of New York in 1954 and in the state of California in 1962 – as well as the first woman to be elected Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Shlarek accomplished many firsts for black women in architecture, including establishing the first architectural firm to be formed and managed by an African-American woman in 1985, Siegel, Sklarek, Diamond, which was the largest woman-owned and mostly woman-staffed architectural firm in the United States. Read the rest of this entry
Concluding The PractitioNERD’s celebration of Black History Month, I want to introduce Ron Simmons, who is the first officially recognized African-American World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion and member of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Simmons is also a four-time World Tag Team Champion (3 with WWE, 1 with WCW) and College Football Hall of Famer, recognized by his All-American status as a defensive nose guard with the Florida State Seminoles.
Continuing with the celebration of Black History Month, I want to introduce architect Paul Revere Williams, FAIA. Mr. Williams was a Los Angeles-based architect, and a Fellow Member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); in fact, he became the first African-American member of the AIA in 1923, and the first African-American voted Fellow in 1957. He practiced largely in Southern California, and designed many public and private buildings, as well as the homes of numerous Hollywood star, ranging from Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz, and Lon Chaney.
In the spirit of Black History Month and recoginizing the contributions of African-Americans in architecture, videogames, technology, and professional wrestling, I’d like to begin with Jerry Lawson.