Tagged: African-American

Waynehead

Waynehead/Kid’s WB/1996-1997 (Club Foot)

Damien “Damey” Wayne (voiced by Orlando Brown), 10-year-old black boy with a club foot who lives in a poor inner-city neighborhood in lower Manhattan and tries to cope with the problems of pre-adolescence. Damey wears a large black shoe with a metal brace on his right leg.

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Damey likes to take things apart (although putting things back together was another matter). And with money hard to come by, Damey uses his creativity by building his own toys from material found around the neighborhood.

Damey’s friends are:

  • Toof (voiced by Shawn Wayans),
  • Mo’ Money (voiced by Jamil Walker Smith),
  • Marvin (voiced by Tico Wells),
  • Roz (voiced by T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh).

Damey also has a cousin from Los Angeles named Three Hats, and canine companion named Tripod who was missing a leg (seen on episode “Rebel Without A Paw”). His other friends are Monique, Shavonne, Kevin and Blue.

Day-to-day adventures in the life of Damey Wayne and his pals included:

  • Getting Damey’s Mom to the hospital when she goes into labor at the library.
  • Dealing with the Hydrant of Doom.
  • Battle with the school bully turns into a contest of insults.
  • Rescuing Roz from junkyard dogs.
  • Search for fireworks for the night of the Fourth of July.
  • Asking his dad to coach a basketball game (but dad sucks on the court).
  • Hiding the fact the Damey has a role in an opera. (“To be cool or not to be cool”)
  • Damey tries to earn money for the Harlem Week Festival.

Note: WAYNEHEAD is a Canadian-American Saturday morning animated series created by American actor Damon Wayans. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Nelvana. The series lasted for only one season. Nineteen extra episodes were created on BET! Network, including a special episode “Damey and his Pals’ Christmas Carol.”

The cartoon series was inspired by the childhood of film/TV actor Damon Wayans, own childhood in the Chelsea neighborhood in the New York City Borough of Manhattan. Wayans, like his character Damey, had a club foot.

The term  “Waynehead” comes from home-sheared haircuts given to Damey and his brothers.

See also: External Link – Waynehead Theme Song @ You Tube

The Wire

The Wire/HBO/2002-2008 (Blind)

Butchie (S. Robert Morgan), “mostly blind” black man who runs his own bar in East-Side Baltimore and knows how to handle business. He also supplied Corrections Officers with the narcotics to sells inside prison.

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Despite his blindness, Butchie knew what was going in the hood. He could find you a perp, a gun, a hideout, and a loan shark. Whatever you need. He was the ghetto’s version of E.F. Hutton; when Butchie talks, others listen.

Butchie was the advisor and confidante of Omar Little (Michael Kenneth Williams), a gay street thug whose gang makes a living robbing drug dealers to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell”.

When Omar left town to retire with his stolen loot, his rivals lured Omar back to Baltimore by torturing and murdering Butchie in his bar when he refused to give up Omar’s location. The perpetrators shot Butchie twice in the leg, smashed a bottle over his face and then shot a bullet to his head. Omar returned to town to get his revenge. Butchie’s last appearance was on episode “Not for Atrribution.”


Note: Actor S. Robert Morgan (like his character) is blind. He lost his sight to macular degeneration in his twenties.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION/SYN/1987-94 (Blind with Augmented Vision)

Starfleet Lt. Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton/costar), a black Helmsman/Engineer assigned to the 24th century starship USS Enterprise-D.

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La Forge “saw” via a prosthetic device placed over his eyes called a VISOR (Visual Input Sensory Optical Reflector). The curved, silver band of metal with rows of vertical slits was attached to two blinking red implants embedded into each of his temples. Giordi’s real eyes were covered with a film of white. His artificial sight transcended normal human vision.

The powers of an alien named named “Q” once intervened to give La Forge a moment of “real” sight but Geordi refused the gift.

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In the Star Trek movie Insurrection (1998), Geordi no longer needed his visor. The miracle of technology had provided him with natural sight.

Note: The Geordi character was inspired by a young man named George La Forge who suffered from muscular dystrophy. However, his affliction didn’t keep him from attending as many Star Trek conventions he could afford to go to.

He became a friend of series creator Gene Roddenberry, who made George an honorary Lieutenant in Starfleet before George died in 1975.

While creating new characters for his revival of the series Roddenberry remembered George and as a tribute to the valiant man, named the navigator of the starship, Geordi La Forge.

See also: Star Trek: The Next Generation (Picard)

The Sammy Davis Jr. Show

THE SAMMY DAVIS JR. SHOW/NBC/1966 (Injured Eye)

Sammy Davis Jr., the popular black singer, dancer and all around entertainer lost his left eye in an automobile accident on November 19, 1954 while driving from Las Vegas to Hollywood.

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He recovered from his injury at the Community Hospital in San Bernardino. When he returned to work at Ciro’s, he received a ten minute ovation.

Soon after the accident, Sammy began to wear an eye-patch. His left eye was replaced with a glass (actually plastic) eyeball.

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Note: Mr. Davis also appeared on THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE/ABC/1964-70 (an occasional host); THE NBC FOLLIES/NBC/1973 (a regular on the show); SAMMY & COMPANY/SYN/1975-77 (his own talk/variety show); and BARETTA/ABC/1975-78 (sung the theme song “Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow”).

Born December 8, 1925 in Harlem, Manhattan, in New York City, New York, Sammy Davis Jr. (often billed as “The greatest living entertainer in the world”) died from complications from throat cancer on May 16, 1990 (age 64) in Beverly Hills, California.

Sable

SABLE/ABC/1987-88 (Blind)

Joseph “Joe” Tyson (Ken Page), a blind, black computer whiz who provides information to Jon Sable, a children’s author and vigilante.

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Joe’s nickname is “Cheesecake” because Sable sends a strawberry cheesecake to Joe when he needs information (the flap of the cake box hold instructions in Braille).

“Cheesecake” imagines himself to be a stand up comedian and provides his own recorded laugh track for such occasions.

  • On episode No.3 “Evangelist” Sable gives a child he found at the apartment of a murdered orphanage worker to Cheesecake to look after, while he discovers a baby selling scheme is going on at the orphanage.
  • On episode No. 6 “Watchdogs” A reunion between Sable and his critically ill stepmother is interrupted when Cheesecake needs his help against a racist neighborhood watch group.

Early Edition

EARLY EDITION/CBS/1996-2000 (Blind)

Marissa Clark (Shanesia Davis-Williams/costar), a beautiful black but blind receptionist who assists Gary Hobson (Kyle Chandler), a young stockbroker with a magical newspaper that reveals tomorrow’s news today.

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Gary purchased Marissa a seeing-eye dog named Spike from profits won in an OTB parlor playing the horses with information taken from the future headlines in his special newspaper.

Actress Marissa Davis researched her role at a blind person with the Chicago Guild of the Blind.

The Cosby Show

THE COSBY SHOW/NBC/1984-92 (Dyslexia)

Theodore “Theo” Huxtable (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), fourteen-year-old African American teenager living at 10 Stigwood Avenue in New York City, NY (Brooklyn Heights). His catchphrase is “No problem,” but there was a problem.

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For years, Theo’s parents OB/GYN physician Dr. Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby) and his attorney wife, Clair (Phylicia Rashad) were frustrated with their son’s study habits and inability to apply himself in his school work.

Finally, in his teenage years, Theo was diagnosed with a dyslexic reading disorder (Episode No.129. “Theo’s Gift”). With special help, Theo’s grades and outlook on life steadily improved as he pursued a college degree at New York University and graduated.

On episode No.175/176 “Theo and the Kids,” Theo interns as a 7th grade junior counselor at the community center and discovers a boy named Stanley who refuses to do his homework and is unable to read a book. Theo realizes the boy has dyslexia and consequently tells Stanley about his own bout with dyslexia. As a favor to Theo, Stanley agrees to be tested for his learning disability.

Note: The idea for Theo’s disability was inspired by Bill Cosby’s dyslexic son, Ennis.

Becker

BECKER/CBS/1998-2004 (Blind)

Jake Malinak (Alex Desert), a black, blind man who operates the newspaper and candy concession stand inside a Bronx diner in New York City.

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He is the reluctant confidant of Dr. Becker (Ted Danson), a Caucasian physician who frequents the joint and rambles on about how rotten things are in the world.

Jake lost his sight in a car accident while in high school. Both Jake and his friend (who was driving) were drinking.

Once when frustrated, Jake shouted ”Don’t screw with me. I’m blind and I sell Chiclets for a living!”

Jake was a three time National Scrabble Champion.

War of the Worlds

WAR OF THE WORLDS/SYN/1988-90 (Wheelchair)

Norton Drake (Philip Akin), a black computer genius in a wheelchair who battled the menace of alien invaders from outer space. He is a cool, laid back character with a good sense of humor. Norton nicknamed his voice-activated wheelchair “Gertrude.” In earlier episodes, Norton spoke with a quasi-Jamaican accent.

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Norton was part of a team called the Blackwood Project and headed by Dr. Harrison Blackwood (Jared Martin) an astrophysicist whose parents were killed in the 1953 alien invasion of earth.

Other team members included Dr. Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green), a  microbiologist and single mother; and Lt. Col. Paul Ironhorse (Richard Chaves), a conservative, Native American military officer.

Viper

VIPER/NBC/1994/SYN/1996-99 (Wheelchair)

(Dorian Harewood) Julian Wilkes, a brilliant black scientist confined to a wheelchair who designed Viper, a high-tech, supercharged pursuit vehicle built to fight crime in the world of the near future.

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Disabled auto wizard Julian Wilkes (Dorian Harewood) modified a Dodge Viper sports car roadster for the pursuit and capture of criminals too slippery for ordinary police patrol car chases.

The Viper was equipped with computers; armor plating; morphing circuitry that changed the car’s color and shape; side mounted firearms that launched rockets, grappling hooks and netting; and a flying spy camera.

To drive this dynamo of a car, Wilkes memory wiped the mind of Mob driver Michael Payton and gave him the alternate personality of Joe Astor (James McCaffrey).

A fast-talking scam artist Frankie Waters (Joe Nipote) who worked for the police motor pool provided Wilkes and Astor with inside information.