Thursday, February 5, 2015

Black History Month: Levar Burton


Levar Burton, actor, director, producer.

Kunte Kinte
Levar Burton is a serious and talented person. We remember Kunte Kinte very well; what an impact. The point being, we remember Kunte Kinte--not that he was played by a young college student from USC.  He was that good in the role.


Geordi La Forge--The Next Generation
The Star Trek blockbuster The Next Generation, both television and movies, had a deeply developed Geordi LaForge. Burton's character was a brilliant engineer yet vulnerable young man. I do believe the writing and performance of this sci fi series has always been greatly underestimated. Try the episode with fellow engineer Leah Brahms (Booby Trap.) There are so many more. Burton also directed many Star Trek episodes.

Then, of course there is Reading Rainbow and its regeneration in ed tech apps. At RRKIDZ, Burton serves as Co-Founder and Curator-in-Chief, ensuring that the projects produced under the banner meet the high expectations and trust of the Reading Rainbow brand.


Reading Rainbow and IPad.
Growing up in a military family, Levar almost chose to be a Catholic priest (I can identify with that since I came very close to being a Benedictine nun.) Maybe that has influenced his thoughtful and excellent way of living before the public. Not since Bill Cosby have we had such an excellent role model.

Last year at Comicon I had the chance for a conversation with Levar Burton at the Star Trek location while getting an autograph for myself and my daughter.  He is such a nice gentleman. It was a privilege. At the Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, my daughter got a picture with him, requesting a 'Community' type pose (she emulated Troy's freaked out expression.)  He cooperated in good humor.

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