The Power of Lando

Posted by on Feb 28, 2012 in african american history, cultural differences, cultural diversity

Billy Dee Williams

Billy Dee Williams at the Black Movie Awards

Billy Dee Williams at the Black Movie Awards in 2006 (AP / Michael A. Mariant)

Why devote any space on an SEO site to Billy Dee? Have you ever met Billy Dee? Do you know his impact on the African American community or the fact that he has help revolutionized civil rights for the African Americans in the film industry?!

Yea, me neither.

I just happen to be a big fan of Star Wars. I have only known about Billy Dee since Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. But, Lando Calrissian as he is called in the movies, made an impact on my impressionable mind in the 80s as one of the only black actors to have a leading role in a major motion picture of this magnitude. It was only after Billy Dee’s portrail of an enterprising black smuggler turn leader of Cloud City that I began investing time into African American issues and civil rights became real to me after learning of the struggles that black actors faced in obtaining ‘real’ parts in movies: from Sidney Poitier (“They call me MISTER TIBBS!“) to Etta James.

The fact of the matter is that the struggle for equality has always been hard, and has always been real. Billy Dee was one of many that worked hard to find a place and success in a world that neither fully accepted nor credited them [Blacks] with their abilities outside of manual labor. Some of these stigmas and stereotypes still exist today as well as changed forms into stereotypes on other nationalities, such as latinos and hispanics. But just as Hattie McDaniels of Gone with the Wind fame was able to show case the abilities Blacks have at their disposal, every ‘dog’ has it’s day and every human has potential – if we are only willing to accept and appreciate it. Although he has been reduced to doing ads for Colt 45 (which I happen to enjoy as a low-cost alternative to anything good), I think he has made a lasting impact through his few, but powerful roles in movies.

Thanks Billy Dee.

A. Chris TurnerAbout the Author: Chris Turner is also known as ChocolateSEO. CSEO is Chris' Nashville search marketing and consulting service offering a variety of services to help you, your company and any website maximize web-based marketing opportunities. He is the father of three girls, one boy (finally) and husband to the wonderful Savannah. Join the author's circle: Chris Turner on Google+.