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Leah Johnson is a University of Michigan- Dearborn graduate and she has a B.A. d
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on Friday, 05 October 2012
in Today in Black History

Remembering Bernie Mac- A Comedic Genius

BernieWhen the Bernie Mac show aired in 2001 (yes it was that long ago) it immediately became the sitcom that I watched every Wednesday night with my family. I remember us relaxing with snacks and laughing at Bernie’s antics. The way Bernie would get frustrated with the kids, act smooth with his wife, Wanda, and be the tough “Mac Man” around his boys was hilarious and genuine. He addressed the audience/viewers as “America” as he sat in the chair in his den, making you feel as if he was talking directly to you. I love that his show included “Old School” music, with the likes of The Isley Brothers, Earth Wind & Fire, and others in just one episode alone. The Bernie Mac Show was original, good, clean family comedy.

Although he’s no longer with us, his comedy is still available for his fans to enjoy and that’s something worth celebrating. Let's not forget that popular comedians such as Kevin Hart and others owe their success to one of the Kings of Comedy- Bernie Mac, since he paved the way.

Thanks for the laughs, "Mac Man".

Today would have been Bernie Mac's 55th birthday. Here are a few facts about Bernie Mac courtesy of The Wright Museum's "Today in Black History" facts.

• October 5, 1957 Bernard Jeffrey “Bernie Mac” McCullough, comedian and actor, was born in Chicago, Illinois. Mac started as a stand-up comedian around Chicago and in 1989 won the Miller Lite Comedy Search. His first major acting role was in the 1995 film “Friday.” That was followed by other roles in films primarily directed at black audiences. In 2001, he was able to break from the traditional “black comedy” genre with his role in “Ocean’s Eleven.” Also in 2001, his semi-autobiographical situation comedy “The Bernie Mac Show” debuted on Fox Television. That show won a 2001 Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting and the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing. In 2002 and 2003, Mac was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2004, Mac had his first starring role in the film “Mr. 3000.” Mac died on August 9, 2008. Just prior to his death he completed work on the film “Soul Man” which was released in 2008.

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Leah Johnson is a University of Michigan- Dearborn graduate and she has a B.A. degree in Communication. In college, she minored in Psychology and African American Studies after developing a love her history, culture and African American literature. She currently works in the Communication and Marketing Department at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Two of Leah's "She-ros" are Ida B. Wells Barnett, the fearless journalist who exposed the truth about lynching, and Madame CJ Walker, the first self-made African American female millionaire. "I love these women because they were determined and did what was necessary to succeed and defend the truth. That lets me know that I can be a successful African American woman as well," said Leah.

In her spare time, Leah enjoys traveling, bowling, shoe shopping, and spending time with friends and family.