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His Story | Champions: A Tribute to The Black Male Athlete

His Story | Champions: A Tribute to The Black Male Athlete

His Story

Celebrate Black History Month with a spoken word poetry tribute to the athletes who broke barriers and inspired us.

“Champions” by Raliq Bashard
Follow: @Raliq_thewriter

We weren’t suppose to champions, but we made it
Didn’t have a full deck, but we played it
with patience
Displays greatness in the game and changed it,
became it,
became famous, through all the slander,
Through all the snake-ish
Black backbiting grammar
that slayed us
in the papers, they called us Bammas
And it was that hate that made us,
They gave us ghettoes and chained us,
But we won metals and came up, fate raised us and
made us

…Louis,
Mike Tyson:
Enticing
Titans,
Tycoons, bisons,
Fists like rifles
Pitbulls biting
Heart tight as vice grips, fighting vices,
Lifeless but living
loud hounds singing
pound for pounds swinging, sifting
shape-shifting
Weight shifting, putting shifts in
We had narrow
roads but stayed driven
We made good-crowns outta put downs
Golden thrones outta broken homes,
Loaded domes, made men bow
Jim brown with a field goal, Pin down,
like a gentiles, praying
laying sins down

Outbound, inbound
On the right court.
With a nice Spalding ball
We Mike Jordan weaving
Calling shots
white Nikes balling
great white knight, bald head
You can doubt mine,
But just always remember that jump man logo outline…
…that was from the foul line!
We out-shine:
fire in our chest, diamonds in our eyes: cow sized,

‘Bout time they saw we were destined
Just some ol’ bare back, dirt ball,
half-homed black boys
turned legend.

We’re Hank Aaron at the 7th
Bat dropping at the base dashing
Robinson joltin’ in the gadget
of his own fire, no holes in his game,
Slashing, blood on his gym towel,
We been fouled,
been here, got wins here, lost wind here,
Been scared

But we ain’t give up!
We don’t forfeit,
‘Cause we are fit,
they stole our dignity
We stole bases
Cold game–
First down, first inning
Foul line, free throw
Shape shift
Jim Crow, 3rd ward,
Crack house, basement

This game’s ancient
Game came with real struggle,
They can’t say boxing without Ali
They can’t say basketball without a Bill Russell
We instilled hustle
We never sold out, we sold out
with our souls out
Stole crowds, whole crowds
Two knees, both down
We ain’t come from medals,
but we aint losing so fate choosing,
Call us champions

They had plans and we cancelled it!
Wrote new manuscripts
Hate rang out in the stands and we answered it

We’re Doug Williams with doves, building
We broke walls, cut ceilings
Touched children, plus million

Gorgeous arms, flawless shot
Gorgeous form,
…Halter tops

And stockings, shmuck grins
For the woman had two against them and still shined
If we speak Althea Gibson
We speak
1965 with a drive like Malcolm while shifting
This is history!

This is Gabby Douglas
athletes with tough skin, in a world that gave
us nothing
and made us something,
and look who we get to be!
Honorable and brave as the man who is Michael Sam,
Who says “I am who I am, and I play as I am”

We can all be as great as Tiger woods
But stereotypes us, hype us
treat us like we hood and we play twice as good
life is good,

We stole gold, we Flo Jo
We Jesse Owens
We steady hoping
sprinting in our boycott genes
We New Orleans when the levees
broke in

We Jim
Douglas
and Tommy Smith with a win
metals for ghettos, and the legacy that echo
With a chance to rise with two fists when it ends,
from football fields to
courts to
gyms
We shook up the world!
Showed them how to dance, it was the rhythm in
our hands
Our swing, our dribble,
our feet, our stance
We weren’t made like this
We weren’t made to be champions
But we played like it,
Made away like it,
These just black boys dreams,
We’ Alabama blooded,
We gold studded halos on folks
that owned nothing
Nothing but a right
to be remembered in history
…now, just imagine…
Imagine what our kids can be

Video by Relevant24 - http://relevant24.com/
FOX Sports Producer: Justin Ching

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Positive Black Male News: Super Bowl Champ Richard Sherman and his “Blanket Coverage” Foundation!

Positive Black Male News: Super Bowl Champ Richard Sherman and his “Blanket Coverage” Foundation!

Positive Black Male News

sherman1Now that the Super Bowl is over and the Seattle Seahawks have been crowned champs, I thought it was the perfect time to highlight the good that we know few will talk about. Two weeks ago, Twitter and Instagram were going crazy over the rant of Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman. After a hail of racial slurs (which by the way pissed me off) were being hurled at him, Richard Sherman stated that a man should be judged for his activities off the field and whether he is an active member in his community. We totally agree and if we judge him by that, he’s winning yet again. Anyone who has ever played a sport, especially a professional sport knows how hype you get on the field and that ish’ is talked on both sides, especially when the game in question leads to the Super Bowl. Nonetheless people as they often do, look at one side of the story and get to talking. I even saw some of these racial slurs and Instagram memes from people who were black and I thought wow, what’s really going on? I, for one was happy that Seattle won for two reasons, one Russell Wilson became just the second black quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl, which I found fitting for Black History Month; secondly, because it shut a lot of people up. Now that I got that off my chest let’s get into the good and the giving that lies within the man Richard Sherman, he really is a good person.

Raised by a social worker mother and a father who spent 30 years in public works, Beverly and Kevin Sherman from Compton, California instilled the value of giving back into their star athlete son. Over the summer of 2013 Richard Sherman announced via twitter the formation of the Sherman Family Foundation. Did I also mention that he is a Stanford graduate with a degree in communications? Yes I said Stanford as in the Ivy League of the west coast, as in only 5% admission rate and I said graduate- not that he just went there to play football. So that pretty much kills all those ignorant comments, I digress.

According to the Seattle Seahawks blog, with the help of his close family and friends, cornerback Richard Sherman created “Blanket Coverage – The Richard Sherman Family Foundation. Created to channel it’s resources to ensure that as many children as possible are provided with proper school supplies and adequate clothing. The goal is to help as many kids as possible have adequate School supplies and clothes. Richard shared on his website that growing up in Compton California, graduating Stanford University and becoming an All-Pro NFL cornerback has taught him many lessons in life. His experiences taught him that no path is easy, however with a strong education and the proper tools anything can be achieved.

According to Buzzfeed,

Since Sherman’s charity was founded this past July, they’ve brought goods to four schools and nine community centers. Sherman’s stated goal isn’t “charity,” but leveling the playing field for kids who don’t have the things most people take for granted. Students sign a contract with him: In return for improving their grades, making good attendance, and being good citizens, he’ll continue to help them with clothes and supplies. The foundation also recently visited the Rescue Mission in Tacoma, Wash., and donated socks, blankets, shoes, board games, and books to 160 families who are homeless or trying to get their lives back on track after suffering from addiction.

Through his foundation he and his family are on a quest to improve the education of young people that live in the communities that he has a connection to, including Compton, CA. Through his foundation he has chose to channel its resources to ensure that as many children as possible can be provided with the proper school supplies and adequate clothing. Let this story of who Richard Sherman really is be a lesson to us all, we can and should never judge someone by one act. Although Richard Sherman is still under a rookie contract, you wouldn’t know it from the amount he gives to charity he gives like a vet, check out the video below.

To learn more about the Blanket Coverage Sherman Family Foundation visit and on behalf of everyone here at team BCG, we say congratulations to Richard Sherman on his Super Bowl win and we thank you for giving back!

Source: Black Celebrity Giving

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His Story: Richard Sherman | No Black Boy, No Invisible Man

His Story: Richard Sherman | No Black Boy, No Invisible Man

His Story

“I knew that I lived in a country in which the aspirations of black people were limited, marked-off. Yet I felt that I had to go somewhere and do something to redeem my being alive.” ― Richard Wright, Black Boy

The Richard Shermans of the world know all too well about living a life that feels like any level of the supremely popular Candy Crush Saga game; for many their zip codes are the lone pieces of candy, and intermittent pieces of “candy” like gangs, poverty, low expectations, and limitations align these zip codes. Eventually this pulsating combination explodes into something ugly, or in the case of Richard Sherman, something beautiful.

And so I write about them.

I write about them because I imagine that if Sherman has ever read Richard Wright’s Black Boy (with his academic record, I suspect that he has), he can unequivocally relate to the above-mentioned quote; and, because I recognize that we still suppress the “alive” black boy because a dead one poses no serious threat.

I know that if they carry and dribble balls, or weave seamless lines of nouns, verbs, adjectives, metaphors, and similes, and create bountiful mounds of wealthy industries, the perception is that we don’t ever have to worry about them being great humanitarians, philanthropists, academics, or even good fathers and faithful husbands.

It appears that we want these men to become invisible, but still commit magical acts like leaping from VIP Boxes to dunk basketballs or catching a football pass moving 3000 miles per hour, but if the basket isn’t made or the ball isn’t caught, these invisible men become outcasts and labeled as visible failures.

There is no love for Black boys or Richard Shermans that express passion and confidence. The message is always “shut and play” or “shut up and rhyme” or “shut up and make me money!” And, it’s time we just shut up with these demands!

So today I write to thank Richard Sherman for advancing us in this crushing saga; I want you to know that I see you and you are not invisible to me, Mr. Sherman.

For most of my academic life, I was taught by strong, positive Black men. They enhanced my confidence because they were so; I have always wanted to be just like them in subtle and not so subtle ways. When my band teacher, Mr. Elston Fitzgerald, Jr. told my peers and I that we were the best high school band in Norfolk, VA, he affirmed our practice and skill as much as he affirmed what he had taught us. When he became angry at any semblance of doubt directed from others to us, he wasn’t ranting, he was being protective of what he had invested in our lives.

For all of my academic practice, the Black boys (my Big Sons) I teach are always allowed to be. However they come is how I accept them. However they leave is how I have groomed them.

Whoever they become is what the Creator has established as their journey.

If Richard Sherman did not believe “I’m the best [corner] back in the game,” would it even be worth our time to watch him play? If he didn’t contribute to advancing his team to the largest event in sports outside of the World Cup, would we even care to know more about Sherman? Had he never given such an honest post-game interview, would the inner-bully ensconced in some of us ever had been revealed?

No. And so I write in honor of the Richard Shermans that are not too afraid to be visible, honest, and alive.

“I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest. Or when, even as just now I’ve tried to articulate exactly what I felt to be the truth. No one was satisfied.” Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

About the author:

Zakiyyah Ali is an American educator of US History and Government, Global History and Economics in a really small town called Brooklyn, NY.  She is a Virginia State University FANatic and a Political Science graduate. In addition, she is a politics and history groupie! You can catch her sneaking inside of history books, stalking phenomenal political and historical figures and events, snooping around historical websites and outlets, galvanizing voters, and living at The WhiteHouse.gov.

This blog, ThePoliDayReport, is designed to keep citizens informed about different political and historical perspectives on some of the hottest contemporary topics of debate.  It is the place to be if you’re looking for straight talk, simple understanding and the razor’s edge to sharpen your genius. Come on in and engage. I almost dare you! Check out her blog at http://thepolidayreport.com/

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Positive Black Male News: Football players team up to sing in ‘NFL Players Choir’

Positive Black Male News: Football players team up to sing in ‘NFL Players Choir’

Positive Black Male News

by 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A group of NFL football players have teamed up to showcase some of their talents off the field.

Over 40 professional players have banded together to join the NFL Players Choir — a group of former and active athletes who prove that their talents run the gamut from having stellar stamina and physical agility to impressive vocal skills.

The choir was formed in 2008 and made their debut in Phoenix, AZ, at Super Bowl XLII. Some of the players include Carolina Panthers player Cam Newton, Jacksonville Jaguars’ Justin Forset, Philadelphia Eagles’ Dereck Faulkner and Washington Red Skins’ James Davis, among others.

Grammy-Award-winning gospel artist Donnie McClurkin leads the choir, who have performed around the nation and recently sang alongside legendary singer Patti LaBelle on Good Morning America. 

On Wednesday, the choir performed at a McDonalds in New York City just days before the big Super Bowl game Sunday.

Watch footage from their performance above and tell us your thoughts below.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works

Source: The Grio 

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His Story: Deaf Seahawks fullback stars in commercial that will give you chills

His Story: Deaf Seahawks fullback stars in commercial that will give you chills

His Story

By 

The above commercial is from Duracell and stars Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman, who is the first deaf offensive player to ever play in the NFL.

After not being drafted in 2012 despite a stellar career at UCLA, Coleman made the Seahawks this season. In his first game with the team, he had 3 catches for 30 yards, and he also caught a touchdown pass against the Saints in the Monday Night Football game on December 2nd.

Source: USA Today

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Positive Black Male News: Andre Johnson spends more than 17K at Toy Giveaway

Positive Black Male News: Andre Johnson spends more than 17K at Toy Giveaway

Positive Black Male News

By Andy Nesbitt Fox Sports

Andre Johnson continues to do the right thing in Houston.

The Texans’ wide receiver held his seventh annual toy giveaway Tuesday morning, giving 12 children and their brothers and sisters 80 seconds to grab whatever they could at a local Toys R Us.

The children, who were picked from child protective services, were able to rack up a total bill of $17,352. Each child also received a gaming system and two games.

“It’s fun,” Johnson said. “It’s fun for the kids and it’s fun for me. It’s something I enjoy seeing every year, so I figure why not keep doing it?”

The kids loved it, too, as you can see in this video:

Source: Fox Sports

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Positive Black Male News: Seahawks Safety Kam Chancellor Provides ‘Golden’ Opportunity for Seattle Youth!

Positive Black Male News: Seahawks Safety Kam Chancellor Provides ‘Golden’ Opportunity for Seattle Youth!

Positive Black Male News

DSC_0251-1024x685Kam Chancellor capped off his recent backpack donation project with a special meet and greet for five student recipients affiliated with Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. Through his foundation Kam Cares, Chancellor partnered with the Mission in late August to provide backpacks and supplies to nearly 600 children facing economic hardships. In addition to school supplies, five students received a “Willy Wonka”-style golden ticket – entitling them to a tour of the Virginia Mason Athletic Center (VMAC), home of the Seahawks training facility. The lucky ticket holders redeemed their prize this morning.

“This has been a phenomenal experience for our children, and we really appreciate Kam and the Seahawks staff for providing them with such a great opportunity,” said Jeff Lilley, President of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

Chancellor led the children and their parents on a tour of the weight room, administrative and coaching personnel offices, team meeting rooms and auditorium, and specialized training areas. The children, adorned in their Seahawks gear, were also able to visit the indoor and outdoor training fields, while catching a quick glimpse of practice before tomorrow’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“I really wanted the kids to tour our training facility to show them the hard work and preparation we put in before stepping out on the field,” said Chancellor. “I hope this experience encourages them to apply that same work ethic as students, in both education and sports.”

As the children and their parents walked wide-eyed through the facility, they paused for photos against several backdrops of players and action shots of the most memorable game highlights. The tour ended with a surprise meet and greet with other Seahawks – including Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Robert Turbin, Jameson Konz, and Walter Thurmond. After a few hugs, autographs, and additional photos, the golden ticket holders said their goodbyes to Chancellor – wishing him and the team well on Sunday’s game.

Kam Cares Foundation will partner with the Mission again in December for its annual Holiday Toy Drive.

Source: Black Celebrity Giving

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Book of the Week: Forty Million Dollar Slaves: by William Rhoden

Book of the Week: Forty Million Dollar Slaves: by William Rhoden

Book Of The Week

178459From Jackie Robinson to Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, African American athletes have been at the center of modern culture, their on-the-field heroics admired and stratospheric earnings envied. But for all their money, fame, and achievement, saysNew York Times columnist William C. Rhoden, black athletes still find themselves on the periphery of true power in the multibillion-dollar industry their talent built.

Provocative and controversial, Rhoden’s $40 Million Slaves weaves a compelling narrative of black athletes in the United States, from the plantation to their beginnings in nineteenth-century boxing rings and at the first Kentucky Derby to the history-making accomplishments of notable figures such as Jesse Owens, Althea Gibson, and Willie Mays. Rhoden makes the cogent argument that black athletes’ “evolution” has merely been a journey from literal plantations—where sports were introduced as diversions to quell revolutionary stirrings—to today’s figurative ones, in the form of collegiate and professional sports programs. Weaving in his own experiences growing up on Chicago’s South Side, playing college football for an all-black university, and his decades as a sportswriter, Rhoden contends that black athletes’ exercise of true power is as limited today as when masters forced their slaves to race and fight. The primary difference is, today’s shackles are often of their own making.

Every advance made by black athletes, Rhoden explains, has been met with a knee-jerk backlash—one example being Major League Baseball’s integration of the sport, which stripped the black-controlled Negro League of its talent and left it to founder. He details the “conveyor belt” that brings kids from inner cities and small towns to big-time programs, where they’re cut off from their roots and exploited by team owners, sports agents, and the media. He also sets his sights on athletes like Michael Jordan, who he says have abdicated their responsibility to the community with an apathy that borders on treason.

Sweeping and meticulously detailed, $40 Million Slaves is an eye-opening exploration of a metaphor we only thought we knew.

Purchase Now Click here

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Open Letter to Rob Parker

Open Letter to Rob Parker

His Story

Open Letter to rob-parker

Dear Rob Parker:

Not too long ago, ESPN commentator Rob Parker viciously attacked Robert Griffin III (RG 3) because he doesn’t fit into his narrow idea of what’s required to be black.  Read what he said here: Rob Parker’s Comments on RG3.

Your preposterous verbal assault on RG 3 ranks among the most despicable diatribes ever.  Your comments are demeaning to all members of our race.  Why can’t a black man be articulate without being suspected of trying to “act white”?   Sorry brother, there are numerous black brothers and sisters who are articulate and we have no desire to give whites the credit for how articulate we are.

You’re not the determiner of who is authentically black and who is not.  If a person is born black, he or she is black—period.  Because RG 3 elects to be involved with a white woman, he’s not authentically black?  Really?  You’re reckless.  You hurt so many people when you make comments like this.  How can you fight against racism when you’re using it?  You cannot.  You no longer have any credibility when it comes to discussing issues of race.  Actually, you no longer have any credibility to discuss anything, including sports.  Who wants to listen to you anymore, save some extremists who agree with your ignorance and radical viewpoints?

ESPN should do more than suspend you; you should be terminated indefinitely.

While everyone deserves a second chance, you can no longer be effective as an ESPN commentator because your comments will leave an everlasting stain incapable of redemption.  Hopefully, your understanding of blackness will improve.  Right now, you should feel an incredible amount of shame and should work your entire life to remedy this public wrong.

RG 3 is an exceptional athlete and person.  He deserves significant respect and admiration.

If ESPN does not fire you indefinitely, do us all a favor and resign.

Sincerely,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

 

By: Antonio Maurice Daniels, Originally posted to http://revolutionarypaideia.com

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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