This list, which was inspired by a joke I made about Matt, Arie, and Riis (the post is here), was originally intended to be a top 10. It was going to be one pretty simple post and then I was going to be done with it. When I started to actually work on it, I found myself having way too much fun. There was absolutely no way I was going to keep it a top 10.
So with that being said, I give you the first installment of…
Dave’s Top 20 Token Black People of All Time
#20 – OJ Simpson
Before he became famous for not fitting into isotoners, “The Juice” was one of America’s favorite token blackies. Most famous for his token black work in The Naked Gun series, OJ won people over with his good looks and charisma. He would have surely been higher on this list if not for his subsequent fall from grace.
#19 – Bryant Gumbel
For a long time Bryant Gumbel was THE poster child for token black people in the world of television news. He is most famous for his work in sportscasting and for anchoring the Today show during the 80’s and 90’s. Gumbel is also rather famous for being one of the whitest black dudes in history. Paul Mooney once famously joked that “white people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X.
Everyone knows the line…
“Man, you come straight out of a comic book!”
That was what Jim Kelly, also known as that black dude from Enter the Dragon, said right before he was killed (in typical token black dude style). Kelly wasn’t in the movie long, but he lit up the screen with his afro and general smoothness when he was.
Because of the huge success of movies like Enter the Dragon, white people spent most of the 80s trying to be good at martial arts. Amongst all the Karate Kids, and Chuck Norrises, and Ninja Turtles (Come on guys, we all know they were white), was The Last Dragon.
The Last Dragon was a movie about Bruce Leroy, an awkward black kid who idolized Bruce Lee. The movie also had a black shogun villain named Sho’ Nuff. Classic token black history right there.
Tune in next time for #11-15. Peace, love, and hair grease y’all.