Today We Honor a True American Hero

Today’s 44 was a reverse crunch on the bench.  Hunter wanted me to do some Rocky style crunches where you go up on your head – ummmm…..I’m too old to try anything that crazy!!!

And it was a good day for a longer run since every one is off and it is a low key day anyway!

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.41.33 PMMartin Luther King Jr is a man who played a major role in the Civil Rights Act and I think that every American should be grateful for the effort he made to make our country a place where all people are equal!!!

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Over the weekend, there were several TV stations paying tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and movies aired that show the changes that have come about over the past 40-50 years.  

Some of my very favorite movies portray the trials and extreme racism that used to mark our country.Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.46.07 PMYesterday I watched  Men of Honor with Cuba Gooding Jr and Robert De Niro.  I forgot how incredible this movie is.  This movie is the  story of Carl Brashear, the first African American, then also the first amputee, US Navy Diver and the man who trained him.

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it.  At the end when Cuba Gooding Jr as Carl Brashear has to take 12 steps in the dive gear that weighs 290+ pounds to be reinstated as a Navy Diver with 1 leg – that scene brings me to tears every single time I see it!

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.48.03 PMRemember the Titans might be one of my favorite movies ever.  There are so many phenomenal parts of the movie.  The fact that this movie is based on a true life happening from a school in 1971 has always shocked me since that was after I was born (I was 2 then!!).

(some of the most inspirational parts of the movie!!)

When Gerry Bertier is in the hospital and Julius comes in I love the line, “He’s my brother.  Can’t you see the resemblance?”

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.51.11 PMThis is another great movie based on the actual events leading up to the 1966 NCAA Basketball Championship.  Texas Western College became the first team to have a starting line-up that was all-black.  The coach later said that he didn’t so much think about the color of the starters – he just wanted his top 5 on the court – as it should be!!!  

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.52.53 PMBecause this film is from a much earlier time period (the 1947 baseball season) there is some pretty extreme racism evident throughout the entire movie.  It is so amazing to look at pro baseball today compared to that year when Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play professionally.

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The Express  is another story about the first black man to achieve a mile stone.  Ernie Davis is the first black man to win the Heisman Trophy in 1961.  Sadly after being drafted by the Cleveland Browns he died of leukemia in 1963 at the age of 23.

Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 4.56.50 PMLook a movie that doesn’t have a sports theme!!!  In the movie Wiley College (a historically black university) takes a team of debaters to competitions in the 1930s.  Besides the fact that the competitors were black, there was also a 14 year-old and a female which wasn’t the norm.  The movie shows them beating the Harvard debate team but in real life it was a team from the University of Southern California.  It shows how much theses kids had to endure and deal with just to participate with other schools.

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This movie is another favorite – in fact I need to watch it again.  The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military pilots to deploy overseas.  These men flew many dangerous missions in World War II while also dealing with very rough treatment from their own country.

I know that there are other movies that depict the difference from how our country is today to what it used to be but these are some that I have seen and love.  They never fail to remind me how lucky we are to live in a world where people are treated equally.

I truly believe that we owe a lot of the freedoms today to Martin Luther King Jr and his efforts to stand up and fight for equality for all people.

Have you seen any of these movies?  Do you have others to add to this list?

Happy Monday!!!


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