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The Satchel Paige Sports Table




Leroy Robert ("Satchel") Paige (1906-1982)born in Mobile, Alabama—became the first African American pitcher in the American League when he joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948. With Paige on the pitcher's mound, the Indians won the 1948 World Series. By 1952 Paige was pitching on the American League All-Star squad.  According to American ballplayer Dizzy Dean, the greatest pitcher of all time.

He was the sixth child of twelve, which included a set of twins of John Page, a gardener, and Lulu Coleman Paige, a domestic and washerwoman.

Leroy Paige earned his nickname as a boy who carried satchels, or suitcases, at the Mobile train station. At age 12, Satchel was sent to the Industrial School for Negro Children in Mount Meigs, Alabama, for shoplifting and truancy from W.C. Council School. There, he developed his pitching skills. more satchel

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Satchel Paige, born 7 July 1906 in Mobile, Alabama, was an African-American baseball playerthe first black pitcher in the American League, and the first representative of the Negro Leagues to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Leroy Robert ("Satchel") Paige earned his nickname as a boy carrying satchels or suitcases at the Mobile train station. Accused of stealing toy rings, Paige was sent to the Mount Meigs, Alabama, reform school. It was here that he began to play baseball, assuming a place on the pitcher's mound that he held for over 40 years, and becoming, according to ballplayer Dizzy Dean, the greatest pitcher of all time.

Paige began his career with the semi-pro Mobile Tigers in 1924. He played for several teams in the Negro Leagues. Paige was the most widely known African-American baseball player until Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues in the late 1940s. With a lanky 6'3" body and huge feet, Paige's characteristic stance was unmistakable on the mound as he uncoiled his long arms and let the ball fly.

In the 1930s, he drew huge crowds as he was pitted against major leaguers, including Dean. Throughout the 1930s, Paige appeared regularly in the East-West "All-Star" games, and due, in part, to his enormous popular following, this yearly event drew unprecedented numbers of African-Americans together. The "barnstorming tours" of the Negro League were exhausting, as the teams traveled sometimes as much as 30,000 miles a year to play exhibition games. He once pitched 29 consecutive games in 29 days.

As a free agent, Paige played throughout North and South America, as well as in the Caribbean during winter seasons. He left the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1937 to accept the invitation to play for a Dominican Republic team. He returned to the United States several years later and pitched the Kansas Monarchs to victory in the 1942 Negro League World Series. Paige became the first African-American pitcher in the American League when he joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948.

With Paige on the pitcher's mound, the Indians won the World Series in his first year on the team. By 1952, he was pitching on the American League All-Star squad. By his own count, Paige threw 55 no-hitters and won over 2,000 of the 2,500 games he pitched. He pitched his last game for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1967. Four years later, he was the first member of the Negro League to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Paige continued to work as a pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves of the National League. He died in 1982.

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Racism: A History, the 2007 BBC 3-part documentary explores the impact of racism on a global scale. It was part of the season of programs on the BBC marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. It's divided into 3 parts.

The first, The Colour of Money . . . Racism: A History [2007]—1/3

Begins the series by assessing the implications of the relationship between Europe, Africa and the Americas in the 15th century. It considers how racist ideas and practices developed in key religious and secular institutions, and how they showed up in writings by European philosophers Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

The second, Fatal Impact . . . Racism: A History [2007] - 2/3

Examines the idea of scientific racism, an ideology invented during the 19th century that drew on now discredited practices such as phrenology and provided an ideological justification for racism and slavery. The episode shows how these theories ultimately led to eugenics and Nazi racial policies of the master race.

And the 3rd, A Savage Legacy . . .  Racism: A History [2007] - 3/3

Examines the impact of racism in the 20th century. By 1900 European colonial expansion had reached deep into the heart of Africa. Under the rule of King Leopold II, the Belgian Congo was turned into a vast rubber plantation. Men, women and children who failed to gather their latex quotas would have their limbs dismembered. The country became the scene of one of the century's greatest racial genocides, as an estimated 10 million Africans perished under colonial rule.

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 Satchel Paige part 1 Satchel Paige part 2



In Punishing Penn State, The NCAA’s Hypocrisy Knows No Limit—Travis Waldron—23 July 2012—The NCAA must certainly feel good about itself after it leveled the Penn State football program this morning, fining the university $60 million, banning it from post-season play for four years, reducing its scholarship allotment, and vacating 14 years of wins, punishments that will ultimately decimate the program for years to come. The Jerry Sandusky child rape scandal that led to the sanctions brought down Penn State’s president, athletic director, legendary football coach and other officials, and letting the Nittany Lions return to the gridiron as if it never happened would have seemed like an abdication of duties. Penn State, most assuredly, deserved to be punished. Just not by the NCAA. In laying out the sanctions this morning in Indianapolis, NCAA president Mark Emmert called for a change in the Penn State culture that led to the cover up of Sandusky’s crimes. What he didn’t acknowledge was how deeply involved the NCAA has been in creating and fostering that culture, and as a result, he handed down a decision that reeks of hypocrisy.—thinkprogress

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Jerry Sandusky on Suicide Watch, Undergoing EvaluationsColleen CurryBellefonte, Pa., June 23, 2012Jerry Sandusky is on suicide watch at the local jail after being convicted on 45 counts of sexually abusing young boys, the former Penn State coach's defense attorney said today. Sandusky was led away in handcuffs to the Centre County jail Friday night after a jury of seven women and five men found him guilty of nearly all of the most serious allegations of child rape and sex abuse leveled against him, but Sandusky has not reached the end of his road yet. He will still face civil suits, potentially more criminal charges against him, and years of treatment while in prison. After the jury foreman read 45 "guilty" verdicts aloud to an emotionless Sandusky Friday night, Judge John Cleland revoked bail and sent Sandusky to county jail to be evaluated by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board for a pre-sentencing report, taking into account his psychological and physical health.

Defense attorney Karl Rominger told CNN today that Sandusky is being held on suicide watch in protective custody, away from other inmates. The jail would not comment on Sandusky's condition to ABC News. Sandusky will be held at the county jail for approximately 90 days, until he is sentenced by Cleland to what will likely amount to life in prison. abcnews

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UT Arlington Library to receive historical papers of Negro League baseball player, African-American newspaper publisher, William Blair Jr.—2 Jun, 2012—The University of Texas at Arlington Special Collections Library has been named the repository of an extensive collection of newspapers, photos and personal memorabilia from William “Bill” Blair Jr., a former Negro League baseball pitcher, a Dallas civic and business leader and founder of the Elite News. Blair, who is 90, will sign the deed of gift at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at The University of Texas at Arlington Central Library, in the Sixth Floor Atrium, 702 Planetarium Place. The event is open to the public. Blair said he is making his personal holdings available to the public with hope that others may learn from his experiences. “There are people who are not interested in anything until it happens to them,” Blair said. “But if you read and see photos, you learn.” Ann Hodges, special collections program coordinator, negotiated acquisition of the William Blair Collection with W. Marvin Dulaney, chair of the UT Arlington Department of History, and Brenda McClurkin, the library’s historical manuscripts archivist.

The records hold particular importance for the North Texas region, Hodges said. “The acquisition of the William Blair Collection greatly enhances Special Collections’ holdings of African-American archival materials,” Hodges said. “This collection will allow us to preserve the story of a living legend in the African-American community for generations to come.”cisionwire

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An African Out in the World

Asian America’s Response to Shaquille O’Neal

Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez  (Jean Damu)

Baseball: A Job African Americans Won't Do?  (Jean Damu)

Battling Siki: A Tale of Ring Fixes  (Adeyinka Makinde)

Black man descending: On Mike Tyson (Amin Sharif)

Blame A-Rod, Spoil the Child

Chavez Challenges Baseball (Zirin)

Clines Reflects on Clemente, Stargell, and the Team of Color     

Dave Zirin on Muhammad Ali 

The Defeat of the Great Black Hope 

Dick Tiger  (Adeyinka Makinde) See also: Tribute to a boxing legend (Gavin Evans)

Did the White House force the indictment of Barry Bonds? (Jean Damu)

Gabby Douglas and Black Self-Hatred (C. Liegh McInnis)

Golden Eaglets Win

Home Runs, Heroes, and Hypocrisy (Tim Wise)

Indictment of Barry Bonds  (Jean Damu)

Len Elmore and March Madness (Kam)

Leroy Robert ("Satchel") Paige  

The Michael Vick Situation (Semafumu Kimathi)

Parable of July 4, 1910 (Marvin X)

Pediatrician Eliseo Rosario Dreams Like Roberto Clemente   

Response to Shaquille O’Neal

Ron Artest Ain't the Problem  

Satchel Page

Super Bowl Slavery (Dave Zirin)

Ugliness in the Beautiful Game (Amin Sharif)

Unforgivable Blackness  (Amin Sharif)  

Waking Mike Vick (Amin Sharif)

White House and Indictment of Barry Bonds (Jean Damu)

William Rhoden’s Forty Million Dollar Slaves  (William Broussard)

Related files

Another Stolen Election? 

Mango Tribe--Sisters in the Smoke

People Did Not Have to Die

Sons and Daughters  

Washerwomen Table 

The Watts Rebellion

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Mayweather vulnerable in title victory over Cotto—Santos A. Perez—6 May 2012—[Floyd] Mayweather again proved why he is arguably the best fighter of his generation as his quick combinations and defense resulted in another title-winning performance. Mayweather ended Cotto’s championship reign with a convincing unanimous decision at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. “We had to suck it up and fight hard, Miguel Cotto was a tough competitor,” Mayweather said of the outcome and his bleeding. “I knew this was not going to be an easy fight. I had to go out there and execute the game plan and fight my heart out.” Mayweather (43-0) built an early lead, landing repeatedly with rights to the head. But Mayweather often ignored the entire ring and was intent on staying near the ropes to establish his pace. With Cotto applying constant pressure, Mayweather adeptly blocked or slipped many of his shots.—MiamiHerald

Mayweather impressive, still shuns Pacquiao—After making a minimum $32 million in an impressive performance Saturday night against Cotto, Mayweather could be excused for dismissing what would be the richest fight in boxing history. But, with jail time coming up for a domestic abuse charge, there will be plenty of time for reflection about his future. . . . He had welts under his both eyes and he spoke deliberately, like a fighter who was exhausted by the effort needed to capture the 43rd win of his unblemished career. He could have danced about and beaten Cotto without taking the most punishment of his career, Mayweather insisted. But he wanted to give fans a good show, and make them happy they spent $69.95 on pay-per-view to see him fight.—MiamiHerald  /  Floyd Knocks Out Ortiz in Four

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Arnold Palmer, center, and Ben Hogan, right, at Augusta, where black caddies were once required.


Treasure of Golf’s Sad Past Black Caddies Vanish in Era of Riches—Karen Crouse—2 April 2012—AUGUSTA, Ga.—For decades, the black caddies at Augusta National Golf Club — required by the club’s rules and treasured for their nuanced knowledge of the course’s topography—stood as a striking symbol of the sport’s segregated state.  “As long as I’m alive,” said Clifford Roberts, one of the club’s founders in 1933 and a longtime Masters chairman, “all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”

 In 1997, 20 years after Roberts’s death, Tiger Woods, with a white caddie, won the first of his four Masters championships, shattering the mirror that Roberts’s vision reflected. Woods, who has won 14 majors, changed the face of golf in more ways than one. Not only is the best golfer of this era not white, Woods’s success has helped push the black caddie to the brink of extinction.

At the 76th Masters this week, there will be no club caddies required; only two black caddies started the season with regular jobs on the PGA Tour and one has since been fired. The great black caddies of the past, who carried the bags for Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus and the game’s other greats, are dead or well into the back nine of their lives. For a variety of reasons, no new generation has taken the bags from them.

 Caddying, once perceived as a menial job, has become a vocation for the college-educated and failed professionals who are lured by the astronomical purses driven by Woods’s immense popularity. In 1996, the year Woods turned pro, the PGA Tour purses averaged $1.47 million. This year, they average $6.20 million.—nytimes

The Problem of Black History—Ta-Nehisi Coates—4 Apr  2012—I thought this story from the Times on the decline in the number of African-American caddies buried the lede. The writer pitches it as something we should be mournful about or at least feel rather wistful . . . Caddying, once perceived as a menial job, has become a vocation for the college-educated and failed professionals who are lured by the astronomical purses driven by Woods's immense popularity. In 1996, the year Woods turned pro, the PGA Tour purses averaged $1.47 million. This year, they average $6.20 million. I would argue that sometimes an absence of black people is actually the result of progress, or at the very least the result of some kind of change that doesn't immediately involve a boot on your neck. Caddying, perhaps regrettably, carries with it some connotations that don't really appeal to young black people today. . . . It's the "Segregation gave us jazz and the blues" problem.—theatlantic

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The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment That Changed the World

ByDave Zirin  and John Wesley Carlos  Foreword by Cornel West

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Julius Winfield Erving II (born February 22, 1950), commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, is a retired American basketball player who helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA). He was the best known player in the ABA when the ABA-NBA merger joined it with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1976 season. Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards, and three scoring titles while playing with the ABA's Virginia Squires and New York Nets and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He is the fifth-highest scorer in professional basketball history, with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined). He was well-known for slam dunking from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests and was the only player to have been voted Most Valuable Player in both the ABA and the NBA. Erving was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team and in 1993 was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2004, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame. Many consider him among the most spectacular basketballers ever, and one of the best dunkers of all time.

While players such as Connie Hawkins, "Jumping" Johnny Green, Elgin Baylor, and Gus Johnson were performing spectacular dunks before Erving came along, "Dr. J" is usually the one most people credit with bringing it into the mainstream. His signature dunk was the "slam" dunk, since incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game, in the same manner as the "cross-over" dribble and the "no look" pass.

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The Shame of College Sports (Taylor Branch)

 Black Jockeys Exhibit

Valonda visits the African-American Cultural Center at NC State University to learn more about an art exhibit on the history of black jockeys in America.

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Black Jockeys—Louisville

You would not guess it today, but when Thoroughbred Racing was in its infancy, most great jockeys were African American. In the first Kentucky Derby in 1875, 14 of the 15 jockeys were African Americans. Moreover, 15 of the first 28 Derby races were won by Black jockeys.

Over the years, several African American jockeys in the Louisville region emerged as Derby winners: William Walker in 1877, James “Soup” Perkins in 1895, Willie Simms in 1896 and 1898, and Jimmy Winkfield in 1901 and 1902. In fact, Jimmy Winkfield was the last African American to win the Kentucky Derby. And one jockey, though short in statue, stood above all others.

Arguably, the greatest jockey in American history, Isaac “Burns” Murphy (1861-1896) was born on a horse farm to a former slave. Murphy's family lived in downtown Lexington, Kentucky on Jordan's Row. Murphy is the first jockey to win three Kentucky Derbies (1884, 1890 and 1891) and the only jockey to win the Derby, Oaks and Clark Handicap in one meeting. Murphy ultimately rode 628 champions in 1,412 races during a 15 seasons career, winning an astounding 34.5 to 44% of his races (depending on source) before retiring in 1892 to train horses. No other long-time jockey in America has approached that winning percentage. To place his achievement in context, he was the Muhammad Ali-Michael Jordan of horse racing. Unfortunately, his career was cut short at the age of 34 due to pneumonia. To keep his weight down as a jockey, he was known to binge and purge. For that reason, some speculate that vomit backed into his lungs, causing pneumonia. He is buried at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

Despite racism that would not permit Isaac Murphy to dine with the bettors, many high-rollers made a ton of money betting on his races! So with a measure of indebtedness to him, even in the segregated South, Isaac Murphy was the first rider voted into the National Museum of Racing, Jockey Hall of Fame.—SoulofAmerica

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The Top 2 All Time Two-Sport Stars

1. Deion Sanders, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens (1989-2005) New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants (1989-1995, 1997, 2001). Probably one of the most decorated defensive backs in NFL history, Deion Sanders was a shutdown corner and a successful major league baseball player. He had 53 career interceptions and has two Super Bowl rings. He also was a key part of the Atlanta Braves World Series run in 1992 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sanders was a speed demon on the football and baseball fields and reshaped how corner back play is played in today’s NFL game. In 2011, Sander’s career was capped of with a 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. “Prime Time” was one of the greatest football players of all time and the greatest two sport athlete too.

2. Bo Jackson, Los Angeles Raiders (1987-1990) Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, California Angels (1986-1994)

Possibly one of the greatest athletes of all time and coming out of Auburn University with the Heisman Trophy he was picked #1 overall in the 1986 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Bucs gave him an ultimatium to choose baseball or football so Bo chose baseball and signed with the Kansas City Royals. Going back into the draft in 1987, because the Bucs were unable to sign him, Jackson was picked by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 7th round with 183rd overall pick

Al Davis welcomed Jackson to the Raiders and embraced his new two sport star. Being derailed with terrible hip injury Jackson continued his baseball career but was never the same after the injury.ThePigskinReport

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N.B.A. Reaches a Tentative Deal to Save the Season—Howard Beck—26 November 2011—The league wanted an overhaul of its $4-billion-a-year enterprise, and it got it, with a nearly $300 million annual reduction in player salaries and a matrix of new restrictions on contracts and team payrolls. The changes mean a $3 billion gain for the owners over the life of the 10-year deal.

Before finally agreeing to those sacrifices, the players’ negotiators won a handful of concessions that will allow the richest teams to keep spending on players, ensuring a more competitive free-agent market.

A truncated 66-game schedule will begin Christmas Day with three nationally televised games. . . . Training camps will open on Dec. 9. Unsigned players will be permitted to sign contracts that day, setting up a chaotic two-week dash toward the 2011-12 season. The three Christmas games are likely to be the ones that were already on the schedule: The Knicks will host the Boston Celtics to open the day, followed by an N.B.A. finals rematch, with the Miami Heat visiting the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. The Chicago Bulls will visit the Lakers in the finale. . . . It took negotiators 184 hours, across 25 bargaining sessions and 5 months, to end the second-longest labor crisis in league history.

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Floyd Knocks Out Ortiz in Four

 By Scott Christ on Sep 18, 2011

The first three rounds of tonight's main event were interesting. And then it went insane. Charging offensively with Floyd on the ropes, Victor Ortiz jumped at Floyd Mayweather Jr with a violent, completely intentional headbutt. After being separated by referee Joe Cortez, Ortiz went over to apologize to Mayweather. When the fight was restarted, Ortiz again came to hug Mayweather. Not feeling charitable, Mayweather socked Ortiz with a left hook, followed by a right hand on a completely defenseless Ortiz, who hit the mat and was unable to get up by the count of ten.—BadLeftHook

Mayweather vs Ortiz results: Millions not satisfied with the knockout—by Clay Hayes—19 September 2011—Mayweather wanted to finish it fast avoiding the pressure that Ortiz showed in that fourth round. He wanted to avenge himself of that head butt that hurt him.

Moreover, he wanted not to engage longer for Ortiz could get him in a punch. On the other hand, Ortiz should take the blame for himself. He was given all the opportunities to shine in this big boxing fight but he decided to make something different. He should have gotten the respect of the fans and the boxing world if he didn’t become “dirty himself”.

If I am Mayweather, I will do just the same because of the first unnecessary action of Ortiz. Yes, Mayweather deserves the win though it was not the way the crowd wanted it. Now that Mayweather continues to be undefeated, the next challenge for him is the eight division champion Manny Pacquiao. If Mayweather will receive $100 million for this fight, will he accept the challenge?—ItsonMyTv

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Curt Flood of the St. Louis CardinalsJanuary 18, 1938–January 20, 1997 on January 16, 1970, the seven-time Golden Glove-winning center fielderfiled suit in a New York federal court against Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, the presidents of the American and National Leagues and all 24 teams in the Major League Baseball (MLB) organization.

After the Cardinals traded Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies in October 1969, Flood wrote a letter to Kuhn in late December, protesting the league’s player reserve clause, which prevented players from moving to another team unless they were traded. Kuhn denied Flood’s request to be made a free agent, and Flood decided to sue. In Flood v. Kuhn, the historic case that followed, Flood argued that the reserve clause violated antitrust laws and violated the 13th Amendment, which barred slavery and involuntary servitude.

Flood was not the first player to challenge the reserve clause, but he was certainly the most prominent, and stood to lose the most. In his 12 seasons with the Cardinals, he batted an average of .293, and he was paid $90,000 in salary for the 1969 season.

He was also only 31 years old, at the peak of his career. After a U.S. district court judge rejected Flood’s claim in August 1970, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite the support of such great players as Jackie Robinson, Flood suffered when no active players agreed to testify on his behalf, and the court ruled against him in a 5-3 decision in 1972.

By that time, Flood’s career was over. His lost battle turned into an eventual win for the players, however. Major League Baseball agreed to federal arbitration of players’ salary demands in 1973, and in 1975 an arbitrator effectively threw out the reserve clause, paving the way for free agency in baseball and all professional sports—.History

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Willie Mays turns 80 Years Old

The legend turns 80 Friday, and the Giants will mark the occasion with a pregame ceremony that will include tributes from some of his former teammates with the Birmingham Black Barons of the Negro American League.

That was the team with which Mays made his pro debut as a 17-year-old high schooler in 1948, three years before he became the NL Rookie of the Year with the New York Giants. He's one of four living Hall of Famers who played in the Negro leagues, along with Hank Aaron, Monte Irvin and Ernie Banks, and he harks backs to some of the game's signature moments.

Mays was the on-deck hitter when Bobby Thomson hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World," sending the Giants to the 1951 World Series, and his immortal catch of Vic Wertz's drive in the 1954 Fall Classic has been regarded as one of the greatest plays in history.—BvonSports

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Bulls crush Hawks 93-73, move on to Eastern Conference finals

Carlos Boozer scored 23 points, Derrick Rose added 19 and the Bulls’ defense stifled the Atlanta Hawks as the Bulls coasted to a 93-73 victory to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 1998.

Luol Deng added 13 points and made several key plays on both ends of the floor as the Bulls turned a 45-35 halftime lead into a 70-53 lead after three quarters and clinched their series with the Hawks 4-2.

The Bulls will play the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday at the United Center.—SunTimes

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Ballers of the New School

Race and Sports in America

By Thabiti Lewis

Ballers of the New School is one of the first and best books to come along that effectively explains contemporary athletes and the public response to them.  It asks readers to consider the role of race in the sweaty as well as the sweat-free zones of sport. It challenges the well-worn narrative of sport as America's most significant site of racial progress by scrutinizing the true role of sport in mobilizing and shaping definitions, social relations, and public life. American sport culture performs and propagates rituals, symbols, and expressions of fear and difference that sustain racism, and notions of racial supremacy and block bridges to racial progress.  The text encourages a restructuring of the power of the racial subtexts thrust into sporting arenas, upon the bodies of athletes of color, and into the mind and hearts of spectators via the racial contract.   

The book's impetus is for readers to emerge with more truthful narratives, more honest dialogues, better American values, better social relations, and hopefully, using this new vision of sports culture as a model, real change.—Third World Press

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Harlem Rens

In 1939, the "Harlem Rens" became the first all Black pro basketball team to win a World Championship. Harlem Renaissance Big Five, one of the most successful all-Black professional basketball teams in the 1920s and 1930s, added grace and style to the game of American basketball. Robert L. Douglass who was a native of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and a former professional basketball player with the New York Spartans created the Harlem Renaissance Big Five team in 1922.

The team gained their name from their playing location, the Renaissance Casino ballroom in Harlem, New York, where they dazzled fans with their innovative style of play. The Rens were one of the few all-Black, traveling professional basketball teams of that era. Formed five years before the Harlem Globetrotters, the Rens provided African-American men with the opportunity to compete against white athletes on an equal footing.

They toured the country competing against Black and white teams, and in the process, compiled one of the most impressive winning streaks in history.

In 1934, the Rens won 88 consecutive games, and between 1932 and 1936, they won 473 games and lost only 49. Three years later, they won the first World Basketball Tournament held in Chicago, Illinois. In 1963, the entire team was inducted into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame, including Charles T. "Tarzan" Cooper, John "Casey" Holt, Clarence "Fats" Jenkins, James "Pappy" Ricks, Eyre "Bruiser" Satch, William "Wee Willie" Smith, and William J. "Bill" Yancey.—Reference: UCLA Center for African American Studies

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Race, Sport and Politics

The Sporting Black Diaspora

By Ben Carrington

This is the first book-length study to address sport's role in “the making of race,” the place of sport within black diasporic struggles for freedom and equality, and the contested location of sport in relation to the politics of recognition within contemporary western multicultural societies. Race, Sport and Politics shows that over the past century sport has occupied a dominant position within Western culture in producing ideas of racial difference and alterity while providing a powerful and public modality for forms of black cultural resistance.

Written by one of the leading international authorities on the sociology of race and sport, it is the first book that centrally locates sport within the cultural politics of the black diaspora and will be of relevance to students and scholars in fields such as the sociology of culture and sport, the sociology of race and diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, cultural theory and cultural studies.—Sage Publications

Ben Carrington is a sociologist who has taught at the University of Texas at Austin since 2004.  Prior to that he taught at the University of Brighton in England. . . . He is widely regarded as one the leading international authorities on the politics of culture and the sociology of race, especially as regards contemporary sports culture, and has given keynote addresses on these topics around the world in places such as Canada, Barbados, England and Denmark.

Left of Black—Khalil Gibran Muhammad and Ben Carrington

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Bad Sports

How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love

By Dave Zirin

Even in the presence of model franchises throughout the sports world, Zirin makes a strong argument that team owners are ruining our storied teams, not to mention the sports themselves. But then, what's new? Profiling a rogues' gallery of owners—among them, the Yankees' George Steinbrenner, the Colorado Rockies' Charlie Monfort, the Oklahoma Thunder's Clay Bennett—Zirin says that many owners rely, primarily through legalized extortion, on public coffers to stay afloat. He also discusses the baseball owners' acquiescence in their players' use of steroids and the too-rapid expansion of the NHL that has diluted the quality of play for decades. There are many to blame for the strange state of pro sports today, including overweening politicians, fans, and sports media. But, from the evidence in Zirin's book, ownership is a good place to start.—Booklist EdgeofSports

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Jack Trice came to Iowa State College in the fall of 1922 at the urging of Coach Sam Willaman, who had been his high school coach back in Cleveland, Ohio. Trice was Iowa State’s first black athlete and the first in the Missouri Valley Conference, to which Iowa State belonged at the time. He majored in animal husbandry with the goal of eventually moving to the South and improving the lives of sharecroppers.

On Oct. 6, 1923, Trice’s sophomore year, Iowa State played an away game against the University of Minnesota. Trice, who played right tackle, broke his collarbone in the first half but kept playing. In the third quarter, he executed a “rolling block,” in which he threw himself in front of a line of Minnesota players. He ended up on his back and was trampled by the opposition. As he was taken from the field, sympathetic Minnesota fans reportedly chanted, “We’re sorry, Ames, we’re sorry.”

The extent of his injuries unknown, Trice was first taken to a Minneapolis hospital and then home to Ames where he was admitted to the student hospital. His condition worsened, and on the afternoon of Oct. 8, 1923, Trice died of what was ruled “traumatic peritonitis, following injury to abdomen in football game.” . . .

The troubling death may have earned little more than a sad footnote in Iowa State’s athletic and minority student history if not for one thing: the letter found in Trice’s pocket. He wrote it to himself the night before the Minnesota game on stationery from the hotel where the team had stayed. It read:

“To whom it may concern:

My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life. The honor of my race, family, and self is at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do big things. I will! My whole body and soul are to be thrown recklessly about on the field tomorrow. Every time the ball is snapped I will be trying to do more than my part. On all defensive plays I must break through the opponent’s line and stop the play in their territory. Beware of massive interference, fight low with your eyes open and toward the play. Roll block the interference. Watch out for crossbucks and reverse end runs. Be on your toes every minute if you expect to make good.” .  . .

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Harry Reid and the Demagogues /  Haiti Makes Its Case for Reparations

Ken Burns’ Baseball Documentary Tenth Inning

A Review by Jean Damu

it was Burns duty as a journalist and historian to question Selig about his role in getting

another of his buddies, then president George W. Bush, a former MLB team owner,

to advocate for a liberal change in immigration laws. These drastic changes opened

the floodgates and allowed MLB to import an unlimited number of foreign baseball

players at one-tenth the cost of what they have to pay Americans.

Full disclosure: The Indictment of Barry Bonds  /  MLB Manipulates Immigration Laws  

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Stepping Out of the Shadow—On the eve of Scottie Pippen’s induction into basketball’s highest society, Phil Jackson recalled him as “the ultimate team player.”—Pippen was the youngest of 12 children and grew up in a two-room house in rural Hamburg, Ark. His father, Preston, a mill worker, was disabled by a stroke and became unable to work when Pippen was a teenager. Dyer got him into school on a Pell grant and put him to work as the team manager until a position on the team opened during the season. 

He cleaned lockers, handed out towels. “And now he’s going into the Hall of Fame—and that’s amazing,” said Dyer, who will attend the ceremony in Springfield, Mass., at the invitation of Pippen.

 Preps to pros, rarely has an N.B.A. great emerged from such humble beginnings.

Far from the clichéd Jordan comparisons, there lies the essence of the Scottie Pippen story. According to Jerry Krause, the former general manager who traded for Pippen in a prearranged draft-day deal with Seattle, it was a sight to behold, watching Jordan punish the rail-thin and raw Pippen in practice.

“One of the smartest things Doug Collins did was match them up,” Krause said, referring to the Bulls’ coach before Jackson. “And I mean Michael just killed Scottie, beat the hell out of him. But it was the best thing that could have happened to Scottie, winding up with Michael in Chicago. He had to get stronger. He had to learn to compete.” NYTimes

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Serena Williams wins 4th Wimbledon, 13th major

Defending champ Williams overpowers Russia's Vera Zvonareva, 6-3, 6-2, to capture her fourth Wimbledon title and her 13th major to pass Billie Jean King in career Grand Slam titles. At 28, Williams is within range of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who each won 18. . . .

This was the top-seeded Williams' fourth Wimbledon championship and her 13th major overall, pushing her past Billie Jean King and into sixth place.

Serena Williams' chief competition is history

The final point was appropriate: a powerful overhead that was so certainly a winner that Williams threw her racket in the air before the ball bounced beyond the reach of Zvonareva.

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Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend

By Larry Tye

He is that rare American icon who has never been captured in a biography worthy of him. Now, at last, here is the superbly researched, spellbindingly told story of athlete, showman, philosopher, and boundary breaker Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Few reliable records or news reports survive about players in the Negro Leagues. Through dogged detective work, award-winning author and journalist Larry Tye has tracked down the truth about this majestic and enigmatic pitcher, interviewing more than two hundred Negro Leaguers and Major Leaguers, talking to family and friends who had never told their stories before, and retracing Paige’s steps across the continent. Here is the stirring account of the child born to an Alabama washerwoman with twelve young mouths to feed, the boy who earned the nickname “Satchel” from his enterprising work as a railroad porter, the young man who took up baseball on the streets and in reform school, inventing his trademark hesitation pitch while throwing bricks at rival gang members.

Tye shows Paige barnstorming across America and growing into the superstar hurler of the Negro Leagues, a marvel who set records so eye-popping they seemed like misprints, spent as much money as he made, and left tickets for “Mrs. Paige” that were picked up by a different woman at each game. In unprecedented detail, Tye reveals how Paige, hurt and angry when Jackie Robinson beat him to the Majors, emerged at the age of forty-two to help propel the Cleveland Indians to the World Series. He threw his last pitch from a big-league mound at an improbable fifty-nine. (“Age is a case of mind over matter,” he said. “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”)

More than a fascinating account of a baseball odyssey, Satchel rewrites our history of the integration of the sport, with Satchel Paige in a starring role. This is a powerful portrait of an American hero who employed a shuffling stereotype to disarm critics and racists, floated comical legends about himself–including about his own age–to deflect inquiry and remain elusive, and in the process methodically built his own myth. “Don’t look back,” he famously said. “Something might be gaining on you.” Separating the truth from the legend, Satchel is a remarkable accomplishment, as large as this larger-than-life man.

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Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser tests positive for painkillersOlympic and world 100-meter champion Shelly-Ann Fraser has been provisionally suspended by the IAAF after a positive test for a painkiller she claims she took to alleviate a toothache.  The president of Fraser's track club, Bruce James, said the Jamaican sprinter tested positive for oxycodone at the Diamond League meet May 23 in Shanghai. Fraser found out about the provisional suspension hours before she was scheduled to compete in the 100 meters at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

She broke into tears in her hotel room upon hearing about the decision, her manager said, and was afraid what the public would think. "She was so disappointed," Adrian Laidlaw said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "From a perception standpoint, she was concerned. But sometimes there are certain rules where people become a victim of a rule. All we can do is hope that good sense prevails."

Fraser had a dental procedure performed in May and then flew to China for the meet.

"The up and down in pressure (during the flight) caused the pain to go from terrible to unbearable," James said. A slight infection had set in, Laidlaw said, and Fraser was given medication by a physician to alleviate the pain.

When that didn't work, her coach gave her a painkiller before the race, a drug that Fraser failed to declare to the IAAF. Laidlaw said that if she had, "this wouldn't have been an issue." Fraser ran a sluggish race, finishing second as Carmelita Jeter of the United States surged past her. Independent UK

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The Ugly Underside of World Cup Mania—Nkosi Molala’s fight against apartheid began with an emotionally jarring 1974 incident when he was a member of South Africa’s blacks-only national team. This incident occurred during a trip to Rhodesia, a then white-minority-ruled/apartheid-policy nation north of South Africa.

While riding a bus to play Rhodesia’s national black team Molala said a person came up to the bus and asked why they were in Rhodesia. When he said they came to play soccer the person told him the Rhodesian team had fled the country and its members were fighting in the war against minority rule.

“That encounter opened my eyes and changed my life. One event can do that. I wasn’t political before that. When I came back to South Africa I became involved with politics,” Molala recounted.

Molala’s anti-apartheid activism led to numerous arrests, beatings, torture and eventual imprisonment on Robben Island convicted for sabotage. A year after his 1985 release from Robben Island Molala helped form the Soccer Players Union of South Africa. A lawsuit filed by that trade union to secure withheld wages for one black team led to a brutal confrontation with police.Black Agenda Report

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Ghana eliminates US for 2nd straight World Cup

Grim-faced American players filed by one by one on their way out of Royal Bafokeng Stadium. Their World Cup was over.They’ll have four long years to dwell on what might have been, how the most-talented team in U.S. soccer history was knocked out in a game the Americans were convinced they should have won. No nail-biting comeback this time. The U.S. relied on late rallies once too often.

Life on the World Cup edge came to an exhausting and crushing end against a familiar foe Saturday night, when Ghana—led by Asamoah Gyan’s goal 3 minutes into overtime—posted a 2-1 victory that ended a thrilling yet futile tournament for the United States in the second round just when it seemed the Americans had a relatively easy path to the semifinals. Yahoo Sports    Ugliness in the Beautiful Game

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The Michael Vick Situation  Waking Mike Vick

He will awake when told to, he will lie down when ordered, and he will eat

from the same trough as the pedophile, the street dealer, and the gang banger.

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LA Lakers

Champions of the NBA 2010

Defeat Boston Celtics in 7


Official video: Ron Artest "Champions"

Ron Artest Ain't the Problem  

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Natalie Randolph Breaks Football's Glass Ceiling—March 15, 2010—Natalie Randolph kicked through a glass ceiling in sports Friday when she was named head coach of the varsity football team at Washington, D.C.’s Coolidge High School. Fresh off the heels of Black History Month and smack in the middle of Women’s History Month, Randolph, 29, is believed to be the only female head coach of a varsity football squad in the United States, which has nearly 27,000 high schools.

"I can do it," she told The Washington Post. "I'm qualified. I played the game. I know the kids. I love the kids." Randolph, a science teacher at Coolidge, was introduced as the school’s new football coach at an event so packed, it seemed as if a new NFL head coach was being named.

Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty proclaimed Friday “Natalie Randolph Day" in the District and told reporters that she, “like all the head coaches who preceded her, is being honored because she’s the best person for the job.”BlackAmericaWeb

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Manute Bol's Philanthropy As Great An Achievement As Prolific NBA Career

Though several news outlets had reported on Manute Bol's acute kidney disease in the past months, it still came as a shock to much of the world when the 7 foot 6 former NBA player died in Virginia at the age of 47. Bol's height gave him a domineering presence on the court as well as premier shot-blocking ability (for comparison, Houston Rockets center Yao Ming is also listed at 7 foot 6).

However, few who didn't keep up with Bol's activities after his NBA career are aware of his consistent efforts to improve conditions for those in his homeland of Sudan. In fact, Bol spent nearly his entire fortune, and went bankrupt, donating money to organizations that were working in Darfur. As his former teammates discuss in the video below, Bol had never heard of America or the game of basketball until he was 18. Overwhelmed by an amount of wealth unheard of where he came from, Bol dedicated his life to charitable endeavors in Sudan. With Alliance for the Lost Boys, Bol worked to bring medical assistance and education to Sudan. Just last year, Bol was busy raising money to build a school when he contracted Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a skin disease that would ultimately take his life. Bol also became politically active, campaigning for Sudanese politicians that he believed would help promote peace. HuffingtonPost

Manute Bol (English pronunciation:  October 16, 1962 – June 19, 2010 was a Sudanese-born basketball player and activist. Until the debut of Gheorghe Mureşan, Bol was indisputably the tallest player ever to appear in the National Basketball Association. Bol was believed to have been born on October 16, 1962 in either Turalie or Gogrial, Sudan. He was the son of a Dinka tribal chief, who gave him the name "Manute," which means "special blessing." Wikipedia

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People's History of Sports in the United States

 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play

By Dave Zirin

Zirin (What's My Name, Fool!), writer of a politically minded online sports column, examines the intersection of sports and politics, chronicling the struggles of America's oppressed, starting with Choctaws playing lacrosse and slaves in the South, and reaching all the way to a critique of Michael Jordan as an apolitical athlete. There are many worthy and deserving stories of courage and conscience in this vast canvas; however, the telling suffers from Zirin's term paper–like prose that relies far too much on overly long quotes from source material. For example, three pages about NFL player Dave Meggyesy has a short introductory paragraph by Zirin and then excerpts Meggyesy's autobiography for the bulk of the section. This book would have been more engaging and logically organized as a reference book with entries on each athlete or group, rather than a linear historical narrative of sports.Amazon

The Greatest, My Own Story (Muhammad Ali) 

Shrovetide in Old New Orleans  (Ishmael Reed) / Airing Dirty Laundry (Ishmael Reed)

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Tiger Woods: Sinners Shaming Sinners

Poem by Dr. Rose Ure Mezu

The Fourth World Multiculturalism as Antidote to Global Violence

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Black No More

In November, some fans of Sammy Sosa, the former Chicago Cubs slugger, were surprised when photographs from the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony showed his face as uniformly lighter. Online critics accused him of wanting to be white. Mr. Sosa, a Dominican-born American citizen, told a reporter from that he had used a cream nightly to “soften” his skin and that it had bleached it, too. “I’m not a racist,” he said in the interview. “I live my life happily.” Creams Offering Lighter Skin May Bring Risks

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Jock the Vote: NBA Players Raise Their Voices—In the early 1990s, Michael Jordan famously refused to publicly support Harvey Gantt, a black Democrat running against Republican Jesse Helms in a North Carolina U.S. Senate race, saying, "Republicans buy sneakers, too." Jordan eventually donated money to Gantt, and also contributed to the presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley in 2000 and Obama.

Steve Nash sparked a minor controversy when he showed up at the 2003 All-Star Game in Atlanta wearing a T-shirt that read, "No War. Shoot for Peace." Orlando Magic center Adonal Foyle, another critic of the Iraq war, said athletes shouldn't be afraid to share their political views.

"There is some risk, there is no doubt about that, but I think that's part of the responsibility," said Foyle, 33, who in 2001 founded Democracy Matters, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that works on campaign finance reform. "Saying what you think is going to come with a certain amount of people being mad at you, but so what? People are mad at you when you beat them at a basketball game anyway. They boo you anyway. Really, what has changed? I think it all depends on how you do it."

Foyle, a native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, recently became a U.S. citizen and plans to vote for Obama. "This is truly a remarkable time to be involved in politics. I feel absolutely honored and special to be voting at this particular juncture," Foyle said.

The political climate has led to debates in locker rooms around the league. "Those are the hot topics because that's where all the news is from," Hawes, who is white, said, adding that he takes some heat from teammates for his views. "You see the 'Saturday Night Live' sketches. It's not really just politics right now. It's become intertwined with pop culture as a whole."

However, some players still refuse to get excited about the election. "People get sour-faced when you talk about politics and voting," said Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, adding that he doesn't plan to vote. Arenas, who is slated to earn $14.5 million this season after signing a six-year, $111 million contract this past summer to remain with the Wizards, said he is fearful that both candidates will raise his taxes.

"The first Bush said he wasn't going to tax nobody," Arenas said. "It doesn't really matter who the president is. They say whatever they need to say to get in office." WashingtonPost

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LeBron James: 3rd 'Vogue' cover boyLeBron

LeBron James is striking a pose.

The Cleveland Cavaliers' superstar will appear on the April cover of Vogue, joining actors Richard Gere and George Clooney as the only men to do so in the influential fashion magazine's 116-year history.

Wearing a tank top, shorts and sneakers from his own Nike clothing line, James appears on the cover dribbling a basketball and screaming as if in game mode while throwing one arm around supermodel Gisele Bundchen with Tom Brady nowhere to be found. USA Today  / Mary E. Weems Table

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Super Bowl Slavery

Rubber Tree Workers in Liberia

By Dave Zirin

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I divide sports fans into two categories: those who love football (soccer) and those who don’t. The former are the majority of sport fans in the world. The later are mostly myopic American males. These are men who think that the World Cup is something to pour a bottle of beer into while at a tailgate party. They have no idea that more people watch the World Cup than the Super Bowl, baseball, and basketball play-offs, and the Stanley Cup combined. Not even the appearance of a phenomenal talent like David Beckham, perhaps the most famous athlete in the world, will bring these American men to the game. Ugliness in the Beautiful Game

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Dock Ellis, the former major league pitcher who claimed to have thrown a no-hitter while on LSD but later turned his exploits into the basis of an anti-drug crusade and counseling career, died Friday of liver disease at County-USC Medical Center. He was 63.

Ellis, a Los Angeles native who lived in Apple Valley, was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver the day after Thanksgiving last year. LATimes

Ellis is trying to strike back at tough foe—Ellis, a Los Angeles native and graduate of Gardena High, won 138 games and lost 119 from 1968 through 1979 for five big league teams. He played on the Pirates' 1971 World Series championship team and on the 1976 Yankees' team that lost the Series to the Cincinnati Reds. . . . Ellis battled everyday injustices with the same ferocity. While in the minor leagues, he raced into the stands to confront a racist heckler. 

In 1971, he dared the powers that be to designate him the National League's All-Star starter by noting that Vida Blue was starting for the American League and declaring baseball would "never start two brothers against each other."

Ellis started, his only All-Star appearance. He didn't shrink from other, tougher battles.He had begun drinking and using drugs in high school; in the major leagues he started popping pills, not an uncommon clubhouse practice then. Yet, while playing for the Pirates and still using, he counseled substance abusers at Pittsburgh's Western State penitentiary. LATimes

Donald Hall. Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball (1989)  

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Marvin Gaye's "song & dance" for Nike—Moments before the start of National Basketball Association's annual All-Star Game in February of 1983, the legendary Soul singer Marvin Gaye took center court at the Los Angeles Forum to perform the "Star Spangled Banner."  Armed with only a first generation drum machine (programmed the day before by Gordon Banks), his own vocal genius and the legacy African-American protest, Gaye offered the most soulful rendition of the National Anthem that most Americans had ever heard. That singular moment in Gaye's career has been recaptured in a recent Nike commercial featuring the so-called Olympic "Redeem Team."

Give Nike credit for mining the digital crates of Black American culture to make explicit comment on the hegemony of basketball, black music and their products in the world. It's difficult to watch images of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony juxtaposed to classic footage of Marvin Gaye and not get warm fuzzies about America's role in the world and the position of black athletes and artists as ambassadors. The Nike commercial succeeds in part because it forces us to forget the silence of these same athletes on issues like China's support of the Sudanese government and Nike's own labor practices. Vibe Blog

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Ugliness in the Beautiful Game

The United States Women’s Soccer Team Loses to Brazil

By Amin Sharif

Might I remind Ms. Solo that Briana Scurry was once considered the best goalkeeper in the game. And, if she is now passed her prime, this is simply part of being a professional athlete. But, when Briana was on top, she was a thing of beauty. She was a part of the1999 national team that won the World Cup which put American women’s football on the map. She was an Olympic gold medalist. And, she has 54 shutouts in her career.

This is a black woman, who along with her teammates, made women’s soccer fashionable. Without her, no one but a few diehard fans would even care if Ms. Solo was in goal against Brazil. And what of the Brazil team that beat the US team, Ms. Solo talks as if it was a given that the US would even beat them—an assumption that reflects the height of arrogance when one considers the talent of the Brazilians

One can easily dismiss Ms. Solo’s comments as a momentary lapse in judgment of a disappointed young woman. She may wake up tomorrow or the next day and regret her statements.

She may even apologize and go on to have a great career. But, there are too many self-absorbed athletes in the world today. And if Ms. Solo does not want to be counted among their numbers, she had better spend some time reflecting. Ugliness in the Beautiful Game

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The league knows the game minus the power, speed, aggression and agility these players bring to it would be a pale imitation of what draws the fans out to the arenas and into the stores to buy jerseys and other paraphernalia with players' names and numbers on it.  To deal with this contradiction, players are allowed, even encouraged, to show that spirit in competition, and even somewhat in combat, among each other.  (Think of how much less a story this would've been if Artest had responded to Wallace's blow by throwing punches at HIM.  Both of them would've gotten suspended for one or a couple of games at most.)  But never, ever, should a player even think about responding to anything done to him or his team by a fan.  Think of the gladiators in the Roman Coliseum, cheered or jeered for what they did against each other, but never allowed to respond to directly to the crowd for anything it said or did.  Ron Artest Ain't the Problem

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And Why I Wrote It! Yet Another Book on Muhammad Ali

By Dave Zirin

What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States  (2005) /  Muhammad-Ali-Handbook (2007)

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Arthur Ashe

Today, in history (June 5th, 1975), Arthur Ashe beat tremendous odds by defeating Jimmy Connors to become the first (and only) black man to win a singles title at Wimbledon. It’s never been done again since then.

Arthur Robert Ashe, Jr. (July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993) was a professional tennis player, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. During his career, he won three Grand Slam titles, putting him among the best ever from the U.S. Ashe, an African American, is also remembered for his efforts to further social causes. Wikipedia

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Andrew “Rube” Foster (September 17, 1879 - December 9, 1930) was an American baseball player, manager, and pioneer executive in the Negro Leagues. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.

Foster, considered by historians to have been perhaps the best African-American pitcher of the 1900s, also founded and managed the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful black baseball teams of the pre-integration era. Most notably, he organized the Negro National League, the first long-lasting professional league for African-American ballplayers, which operated from 1920 to 1931. Foster adopted his longtime nickname, "Rube", as his official middle name later in life.Wikipedia

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues

James A. Riley (Editor), Monte Irvin (Foreword)

EditorRiley is an accomplished writer and a recognized authority on the Negro leagues, having published numerous books on the subject (e.g., Too Dark for the Hall, T.K. Pubs., 1991). His comprehensive reference book documents the careers of 4000 players on teams of major league caliber between 1872 and 1950. Notable Hall of Famers included are Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Ernie Banks, and Jackie Robinson. Arranged alphabetically, the citations contain a variety of biographical and statistical information. This valuable compilation also provides illustrations, team histories, an appendix on players, plus an exhaustive bibliography detailing books, periodicals, booklets, and newpaper articles. Public libraries should purchase where demand warrants.—L.R. Little, Penticton P.L., British Columbia, Library Journal

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Reading Football

How the popular press created an American spectacle

By  Michael Oriard

A former player in the National Football League and now a professor of English at Oregon State, Oriard advances the thesis that football is a cultural text, complete with metaphoric content and social context, read differently by people whose interpretations vary over time. He considers the formative years of the sport from the 1870s to the early years of this century, arguing that a reading of the popular press of that era helps us understand how actual audiences "read" the sport, based on the narrative structure established first by Walter Camp, who at the turn of the century was the Yale football team's "unofficial, unpaid, unquestioned chief mentor and arbiter," and subsequently expanded by other interpreters. An added attraction of this book is the three dozen-plus excellent illustrations, most from magazines like Frank Leslie's Illustrated Weekly .

Because it is about football as a cultural and even a literary phenomenon, this study is unlikely to appeal to a general sports audience.—Publishers Weekly UNCPress

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination. Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly

  Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate  Dies at 80

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The Looting of America: How Wall Street's Game of Fantasy Finance

Destroyed Our Jobs, Pensions, and Prosperity—and What We Can Do About It

By Les Leopold

How could the best and brightest (and most highly paid) in finance crash the global economy and then get us to bail them out as well? What caused this mess in the first place? Housing? Greed? Dumb politicians? What can Main Street do about it? In The Looting of America, Leopold debunks the prevailing media myths that blame low-income home buyers who got in over their heads, people who ran up too much credit-card debt, and government interference with free markets. Instead, readers will discover how Wall Street undermined itself and the rest of the economy by playing and losing at a highly lucrative and dangerous game of fantasy finance. He also asks some tough questions:  Why did Americans let the gap between workers' wages and executive compensation grow so large? Why did we fail to realize that the excess money in those executives' pockets was fueling casino-style investment schemes? Why did we buy the notion that too-good-to-be-true financial products that no one could even understand would somehow form the backbone of America's new, postindustrial economy?

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The Great Black Jockeys

By Edward Hotaling

than 200 years before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in professional baseball, black athletes, then slaves, dominated what was then and for a long time afterward America's most popular sport: horse racing. Black jockeys continued to be a major force in thoroughbred racing until the early part of this century, when they all but disappeared from the sport. Hotaling tells the stories of the greatest of the black riders, from Austin Curtis, who was born midway through the seventeenth century, through Jimmy Winkfield, who died in 1974. They are fascinating stories, previously untold, and they constitute a very significant contribution to the history of race and sport in America. Hotaling's politically correct explanation for the current paucity of black jockeys (racism) seems too easy and too easily arrived at, though it might be largely true.

Still, one can understand Hotaling's caution: as a young reporter, he asked the questions that led Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder to utter his now-infamous remarks about black athletes—remarks that brought about the immediate destruction of Snyder's career.—Booklist

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The Way It Is

By Curt Flood

Curt Flood (1938-1997) wrote this passionate autobiography in the early 1970's as he challenged baseball's labor policies in federal court. The result is a nice mix of athletic memoirs and political protest. Flood describes his California upbringing, and then bitterly recalls playing minor league ball in the segregated South. There he usually had to stay in "colored" rooming houses and eat on the team bus (most restaurants were off limits). Readers learn of his lengthy career as a star centerfielder, first with Cincinnati (1956-1957), and then with the St. Louis Cardinals (1958-1969) of Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Tim McCarver, Lou Brock and Orlando Cepeda. Flood also describes the life of major leaguers and such once-hushed subjects as baseball groupies, the sport's hierarchy, salary negotiations and race relations. Flood argues powerfully against baseball's reserve clause, which bound players to their team until the team sold, traded or released them - unfairly limiting each player's bargaining power.

The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled 5-3 against Flood in 1972, but his challenge helped bring future players free agency, salary arbitration, and large pay checks. Sadly, only a tiny number of future millionaire ballplayers ever thanked Flood before he passed away in 1997. This is not your typical athletic biography. This is an intelligent book by an intelligent (if slightly flawed) man, its pages aimed at urbane and thinking readers.—K.A. Goldberg

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 11 May 2012