Remembering Jim Brown 1936-2023
NFL Hall of Famer, activist, and actor Jim Brown has made the transition at 87. Brown was one of the greatest players in NFL history, who retired at the top of his game, leaving the Cleveland Browns in order to pursue an acting career.
Aside from the ensemble action film The Dirty Dozen, which was the archetype of the Expendables films, Brown broke barriers by having the first interracial love scene with Raquel Welch in 1000 Rifles.
In 1967, Brown organized “The Cleveland Summit,” which comprised of the nation’s top Black athletes, including Bill Russell and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to support boxer Muhammad Ali’s refusal to serve in Vietnam.
While Sidney Poitier had gravitas, Jim Brown eschewed Black machismo on cinema courtesy of Blaxploitation films like Slaughter, Black Gunn and especially the iconic Three the Hard Way costarring Fred Williamson and Martial arts legend, Jim Kelly. Which in my opinion, is the best Blaxploitation movie ever!
Brown has done much for the black community during the turbulent civil rights era, supported Black owned businesses and even intervened to stop gang violence. Brown founded Amer-I-Can, which was a program to assist the marginalized inner-city youth and ex-convicts.
"Last season's losers...!"
Brown had a memorable presence as Fireball in The Running Man, Moses in Tim Burton's Mars Attacks, and Slammer in the Blaxploitation spoof, “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” which parodied the genre which saved Hollywood during a major slump. Although Brown was unstoppable on the field, he served as a forerunner and role model for athletes coming up, and many of those were involved in social justice initiatives.
Despite having a few flaws, overall, Brown has done way more good than his shortcomings. Here's to The GOAT.