Just a place for random rantings and ravings.....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

RIP Carl Brashear


Today, I read that Carl Brashear had died. Who? you ask. Bear with me a second and learn who....If you think about it, celebrity deaths in the news have never been anything new- and in some cases they're expoited- but for some reason, I always seem to hear about those certain individuals who were important to me and/or inspired me in some way right after they have passed. I can't remember the last time I said "OH WOW! I didn't know they died!" after seeing one of those December "roll calls" where they list all the celebrity deaths of the year. Among others, Howard Rollins, Jacques Yves-Cousteau, Richard Pryor, Peter Tosh, Jim Henson, Sammy Davis Jr., Florence Griffith Joyner, Miles Davis, Ibrahim Ferrer, and Compay Segundo are all people whose names just happened to flash across the screen when I had a moment of inadvertent attention to the tv or flipping through the meandering pages of local newspapers. Carl Brashear was no celebrity in the way most people view the word, however he WAS an important figure in history so much more than Brangelina, Bennifer or their damn offspring. His story is one of those stories in the Civil Rights era that wasn't nearly as celebrated as the marches, protests and sit-ins but equally as important.

To make a long story short, Carl Brashear fought against many hurdles of racism and injustice in the South and the military to make a name for himself at the top of the list in the American Armed Services. In 1970, Brashear became the first Black Master Diver in the Navy. Until 1954, the Navy had NO Black divers and Brashear and two others became the first. Now, that may not sound all that extraordinary considering all the social changes occuring during that time in American history, but this cat earned the rank of Master Diver- the highest diving rank in the Navy - while missing the bottom half of his left leg. In 1966, he became an amputee when a cable on the U.S.S. Hoist snapped and a loose pipe crushed his leg. After two years of rehabilitation, he became the first ever amputee to become a certified diver, and two years after that, he earned his place among the best the Navy has ever had to offer. He continued to dive for the Navy for TEN MORE YEARS and eventually retired from the military in 1993. Now you know who Carl Brashear is and the next time you want to fret about something you think you can't do, think about his story....

My man, you have given this blogger a depth of inspiration that is immeasureable. Rest in Peace Master Chief Petty Officer Brashear. I salute you.

3 Comments:

Anonymous micki said...

I second that motion. That is a more than inspirational history. For those unfamiliar with the story, rent the movie starring Cuba Gooding and Robert DiNiro; both actors delivered stellar performances; while we don't like to give too much credit to DiNe\iro, the scene where Brahear is trying to get reinstated to Master Diver, despite a prosthetic leg and DeNiro steps in with a bully-like encouragement, priceless. I can't remember the name of the movie, but it's worthy! As always, thank you for represnting. Love you, micki

Fri Aug 04, 07:21:00 AM

 
Blogger paz y amor said...

Men of honor. I didn't think I'd like the film but it turned out pretty good.

Sat Aug 05, 08:43:00 AM

 
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

Kinda messed up that i haven't heard anything in the news about him. Even more messed up that if not for that movie, i would have no clue about him or his story.

Tue Aug 08, 02:17:00 PM

 

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