If you’re interested in learning about the jazz pianist and singer who fought racism and McCarthyism, then my Hazel Scott Black History Facts profile is for you.
“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson is the fictional account of a biracial man looking back over his life. The story is told in the first-person though the narrator remains unnamed and is never described physically. He tells of being born in the South and growing up in Connecticut where he learns that he is a very light-skinned biracial boy who some assume is White. As a young man he sets out on his own and travels to different parts of America and later Europe, recounting his experiences in Black and White society along the way.
“One Righteous Man” by Arthur Browne tells the story of Samuel Battle, the first Black police officer in New York City. In addition to braving the expected dangers of patrolling the streets Battle also had to contend with his fellow officers who felt he didn’t belong on the force. Over his decorated 40-year career Battle would fight crime but also discrimination and sabotage within the department.
“Jungle Fever” is a 1991 Spike Lee joint about a Black architect who has an affair with his White secretary. Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) are respectively from Harlem and Bensonhurst. Set during the period following the murder of Yusef Hawkins, the film not only charts the course of their entanglement but also the reactions of their friends and family.