The nation has recognized Black History Month since 1976. At the time, President Gerald Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” The Walt Disney Company is celebrating the contributions of African Americans to our country and the Disney organization throughout the month. Here are some ways Disney will honor this commemoration.
- Disney Channel and Disney XD will present a new “Be Inspired” segment “True Heroes are Timeless,” honoring African American pilot Charles Alfred “Chief” Anderson, revered as the “Father of Black Aviation” for his work as Chief Civilian Flight Instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen
- Throughout the month of February, Disney Channel will also present past “Be Inspired” interstitial segments that pay tribute to notable African-Americans who have influenced and inspired kids and families, including Martin Luther King Jr., former President Barack Obama, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelou, Ella Fitzgerald, Lee Daniels, Viola Davis and more. Among the featured segments is the story of “Descendants” star Cameron Boyce and his personal connection to “The Clinton 12,” the historical African-American teens who were first to integrate a public school in the South in 1956. Boyce’s grandmother, Jo Ann Allen Boyce, was among “The Clinton 12.”
- Beginning Wednesday, February 8, Disney Channel and Disney Junior will debut a series of interstitials featuring Doc McStuffins, the title character from Disney Junior’s acclaimed animated series, introducing notable women and men including: Stephanie R. Grant, a pilot who led the first all-female African-American flight crew to operate a commercial airliner; Disney Legend Floyd Norman, one of the first African-American animators at Walt Disney Studios during the 1950s; and Dr. Myiesha Taylor, an emergency doctor and founder of the Artemis Medical Society, an organization comprised of over 4700 women physicians of color from around the world.
- On Sunday, February 12, at 9-10 p.m. EST, ESPN will air “Tiger Woods: The Legacy of the ’97 Masters.”
- Finally, on Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. PST, Disney California Adventure Park will host the annual “Celebrate Gospel!” event. Choirs selected from throughout Southern California will perform at Stage 17 in Hollywood land, singing songs in celebration of the spirit and history of Gospel music.
Doobie is the co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a “hardcore” Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he’s visited them literally thousands of times.