For the previous years, the Boston NAACP has partnered with Comcast, the Smithsonian Channel, the City League and the Museum of African American Historical past to convey eye-starting documentaries to Boston for screening. Ultimate yr it used to be The Legend of Lead Stomach, the provocative tale of Huddie William Ledbetter, a Louisiana gospel, blues, and folks singer born within the submit-reconstruction generation, whose songs were coated via musical greats from Led Zeppelin and Frank Sinatra to Pink Scorching Chili Peppers and Nirvana.

This week we’re happy to convey a unique screening of The Hammer of Hank Aaron this Friday, February nineteenth on the Museum of African American Historical past, situated at 546 Pleasure Side road on Beacon Hill in Boston. A Reception starts at 6:00 pm, adopted through the screening at 6:30 pm. The Speaker lineup comprises Michael Curry, President of the Boston NAACP and Chris Hoelzl, VP of Software Construction on the Smithsonian Channel, in conjunction with representatives from the Museum and Comcast. Click on right here to check in for this loose adventure.

Hank Aaron, or “Hammerin’ Hank” as he’s fondly recognized, actually tested to the arena what it way to “degree the enjoying box” through giving equivalent possibility to folks of colour. He made his Best League Baseball debut at age 20 in 1954, only one yr prior to Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a White passenger in 1st viscount montgomery of alamein, Alabama. Aaron rose in his baseball profession all the way through the peak of the Civil Rights motion. At the same time as outstanding Black baseball gamers Willie Mays and Ernie Banks have been criticized for final silent, Hank Aaron used to be an outspoken champion for racial justice. He used to be “hammering” as an outfielder for the Braves in Boston after which Milwaukee prior to the staff moved to Atlanta, which used to be the house of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. While requested why he felt obligated to speak fervently approximately Civil Rights, Aaron stated, “If you are now not gonna do it proper, then do not do it in any respect.” Congress might sooner or later move the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Vote casting Rights Act in 1965.

At the enjoying box, Hank Aaron smashed thru racial limitations and neglected racist demise threats and hate mail while he broke Babe Ruth’s very long time “sacred document” for house runs on April eight, 1974. He completed his profession with 755 house runs and three,771 hits and used to be elected to the Baseball Corridor of Popularity in 1982. Aaron driven now not simply to have Black gamers at the box, but in addition in any respect ranges of control and possession. After retiring as a participant, he become an Government Vice President within the entrance workplace of the Atlanta Braves.

Nowadays in 2016, in virtually all spaces of American lifestyles, the enjoying box continues to be now not degree for folks of colour. Huge disparities live to tell the tale in training, well being care, housing, legal justice, employment and wealth. We’ve got come some distance because the 1950’s while Hank Aaron started his profession, but when Black Historical past Month is right here to remind us of anything else, it will have to remind us of ways so much paintings is still performed while preventing for fairness, get entry to and possibility for all. As an example, simply remaining yr, the Federal Reserve Financial institution of Boston launched a look at at the Colour of Wealth which discovered that White families have an average wealth of $256,500, in comparison to $seven hundred for African American families. We want to cast off structural limitations of entrenched and institutionalized racism that also exist on this united states of america if we are in point of fact going to have a degree enjoying box the place other folks of all races and ethnicities have doorways opened and actual possibilities to prevail.

Hank Aaron, who nowadays nonetheless lives together with his circle of relatives in Atlanta, says, “My motto used to be all the time to stay swinging. Whether or not I used to be in a stoop or feeling badly or having hassle at the box, the one factor to do used to be stay swinging.” That is nice recommendation for the ones folks within the struggle for social justice. Stay swinging.

Sign up for me and the Boston NAACP for the unique screening of The Hammer of Hank Aaron on Friday, February nineteenth. Click on right here to Check in nowadays.

Ayele Shakur is Chairman of the Training Committee for the Boston NAACP, and Nearby Government Director for BUILD. Apply her on Twitter @AyeleShakur

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