RACISM IN BOSTON EQUAL TO MISSISSIPPI: RED AUERBACH WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?

The Boston Red Sox was the last major league team to add a black player.  Elijah Pumpsie Green joined the Red Sox roster in 1959.  On May 1, 2017 fifty-eight years later the Baltimore Orioles’ outfielder Adam Jones was called the N word and had a bag of peanuts thrown at him in Boston.  The more things change the more they remain the same.

The Twilight Zone was a television series in the 60s and was the brainchild of actor Rod Sterling.  The show was a strange mix of horror, comedy, science fiction, drama, and superstition.  Many black athletes describe the city of Boston the same way.

This should not come as a surprise to any of us who were honored in sports media to follow the modern day pioneering efforts of Jackie Robinson (MLB), Joe Louis (Boxing), Earl Lloyd (NBA) and Jim Brown (NFL).

Time Magazine recently published a article titled “Why Boston Sports Teams Can’t Escape the City’s Racism”. 

Nothing could be further from the truth the NBA Boston Celtics did escape racism in Boston Garden.  Thanks to Celtic owner Walter Brown and coach Red Auerbach.

Mr. Brown and Red were the Top Cops when it came to racial harmony and Equal Opportunity Employers in the NBA.

They were the first to draft a black player, Chuck Cooper, the first to play five black players at the same time, the first to hire a black coach and the first to hire a black General Manager.  The coach and the General Manager had the same last name, Russell as in Bill.

Basketball historians like, Philadelphia legend Sonny Hill and New Amsterdam Newspaper sports Editor Howie Evans didn’t have a clue.  They claim Chuck Cooper was the first black to play in the NBA, until they heard my Inside Sports interview with Red Auerbach. Red revealed Earl Lloyd was the first to play because of a glitch in the schedule that allowed him to play one day earlier than Chuck.

There are plenty of black athletes who can testify to the sometimes smothering racism of the city of Boston.  Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships as a player, coach and General Manager.

He wrote in his 1979 memoir, “Second Wind”, ‘the city was a flea market of racism, it had all varieties, old and new, and in their most virulent form. City hall was corrupt, with hall-crony racists, brick-throwing, send-them back to Africa racists, and in the university areas phony radical-chi racist.’

One of the stories he tells about his encounter with racism he left out of the book.  That one story he tells was like something out of “The Godfather One” series.

Shortly after signing with the Celtics he brought a home in the suburbs only to return home one night to pull back the sheets and discovered someone had done a No. 1 in his bed.  Remember the movie producer who refuse to hire The Godfather’s godson for a starring role in his upcoming movie?  He woke up one morning to find one of his prize stallion horse’s head in the bed with him.  Russell got the message and moved!

In Boston Garden it was a different story, when the red neck racist attended NBA games at the Boston Garden, it was mandatory that they check their Klu Klux Klan hoods and robes at the door.  Those were orders from the Top Cops, Walter Brown and Red Auerbach. Boston Garden, security had strict orders to ID trouble makers and show them the front door immediately.

The Brawl that broke out at the Wizards and Celtics play-off game in DC had nothing to do with racism, but everything to do with a young immature Wizards player Kelly Oubre acting like a spoiled child.

I remember in the 80s when Larry Bird was having his way winning three MVP awards and playing the game on the same level with “The Big Three”, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas, black folks were outraged that he was compared with this trio.  They expressed their outrage by calling the Celtics a racist team and Larry Bird overrated.

To add fuel to the fire in 1987 Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons acted much like Oubre.  Thomas was quoted saying after losing a hotly contested final Eastern Conference game 7, “If Larry Bird was a black player, he would be just average”.  This was a racist statement.  He was made to apologize and eat his own words.

The telephone calls to Inside Sports regarding the racist Boston Celtics and its overrated player Larry Bird were off the hook and chain.  Those same callers changed their tune when I read them the Equal Opportunity History of the Boston Celtics.

Washington Post Sports Editor George Solomon and writers like Dave Dupree, Byron Rosen, Mike Wilbon, Tom Callahan and David Aldridge were regular contributors on Inside Sports in the 70s and 80s, 90s.

Solomon was listening to the Saturday show I was trying to explain to my listeners they had the city mixed-up with the team.  The following Monday he called to ask me to write a column explaining the difference between racism in the city and a team that was really color blind.  The column got great reviews and it took my writing career to the next level.

Washington National’s manager Dusty Baker kept it real about Adam Jones, he said, “It doesn’t really surprise me too much because I’ve been called that word in almost every city I have played in, minor leagues, big leagues, the letters of hate.  So it don’t really shock me too much, from L. A. to New York, in some places more than others.”

New York Yankee left-hander CC Sabathia told reporters, “I have never been called the ‘N’ word anywhere but in Boston.”

A friend and her husband were recently invited to a Washington Nationals’ baseball game.  The invitation was extended by the company her husband works for.  Their seats were located in “The Diamond Suite” of the stadium.  She described the experience as if they had just passed through ‘The TwiLight Zone’.  There was great food and drinks all free and you never had to leave your seat to get your food.  There was also big screen TV, you never had to look at the action on the field of play.

The suite was the “Playground” of Washington’s elite.  It was definitely a Different World, one that many black Washingtonians will never see or experience.  They have been locked out and it is by design.

In the meantime, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred was heard talking out of both sides of his mouth when he commented on the Adam Jones incident, he said, “The behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”

Manfield is the overseer of a league that has priced people of color out his stadiums nationwide as it relates to the price of tickets, food and parking.

The average family of four cannot afford to attend a major league baseball game, it would really cost them an arm and leg.

He was quoted saying during the ground breaking ceremony for the Jackie Robinson Museum, “With the signing of Jackie Robinson by Branch Rickey it took our sport beyond the playing field.  There are a lot of American heroes, but Jackie Robinson is in a class by himself!” This is another example of ‘Talk is cheap’!  He needs to put baseball’s money where his mouth is and give Rachel Robinson the financial breathing room for the Jackie Robinson Museum she deserves.

Red Auerbach, in an interview on Inside Sports, I asked him about what Black athletes did he admire most.  He said, “There are so many, but I have always had a great deal of admiration for Jackie Robinson. We all know what Jackie has done as a pioneer, but he was such a great athlete.”

I mention to Red during the interview that I had heard that Jackie’s best sport was not baseball.  His response, “No football was his best sport and he was a good basketball player to, we have had a lot of arguments when it comes to the best all around athlete of all time and it always comes back to Jackie Robinson and Jim Brown.  They are the ones who have done it and not the potential”!

What makes the Adam Jones’ incident so ironic is that the Boston Red Sox have more African-American (4) players on its roster than any other major league team.  The San Diego Padres home of one of the greatest hitter in the history of the game, the great late Tony Gwynn has zero African-Americans on its roster.

Baseball is called the American past time, but it has the lowest amount (8%) of African-Americans participating in the game since 1986 (18%) and there is no black ownership.  It makes you wonder why it is called America’s favorite pasttime?

Baseball’s giant among men the great Jackie Robinson broke down the color barriers of major league baseball in 1947 or so we thought.  He turned the other cheek when it was not a part of his DNA and the stress of that ordeal cost him his life at the young age of 53 in 1972.

It didn’t help when his own people turned against him when he joined the Republican Party.  Jackie understood long before the masses the Democrats were running a game on blacks called, “Now you see and now you don’t”!   These are the same blacks that also turned against Rev. Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali.  The common denominator, Jackie, Martin, and Ali were all strong willed independent black men who marched to their own drummer.

In April 2017 Rachel and Sharon Robinson the wife and daughter of Jackie broke ground for the Museum that will bear his name in New York City.  Rachel will be 95 years old in July and Sharon said, “This will be her birthday present”.

My question, why has it taken the Jackie Robinson Foundation and his family over 4 decades to raise what I see as “Chump Change” for major league baseball to get this project off the ground?

For the ground breaking ceremony alone they had to hustle up a grant for 6.5 million dollars donated by the Strada Education Network to clear the way for construction.  The grant was the largest ever received by the Jackie Robinson Foundation since the founding by Rachel Robinson in 1973.

The museum is scheduled to open for public consumption in 2019.  The problem, the Jackie Robinson Foundation will need another 18 million dollars to keep the doors open to the public. Why has a filthy rich Major Baseball League not stepped up to the plate with more than a measly one-million dollar donation?

The unvieling of a stature of Jackie Robinson in front of Dodger Stadium and the annual celebration of the retirement of his number 42 every April does not let Major League Baseball and Manfred off the hook.

SharonRobinson said, “Our father was known around our house as more than a baseball player, he was known as a “Activist” and a risk taker!  Sounds a lot like the Red Auerbach I knew.  The more things change the more they stay the same!

 

PRO SPORTS SHOW THEIR TRUE COLORS IN 2017!

In February 2016 during Black History Month I encountered former Washington Post sports columnist the two Mikes, Mike Wilbon (ESPN) and Mike Wise (Undefeated).  They were in the NBA Wizards’ media press room making small talk when I arrived on the scene. Wise brought to my attention that he had just seen a screening of the documentary titled “The First to Play” based on the NBA pioneering efforts of Earl Lloyd.  The screening was in New York City.  He complimented me on my role in the film.

The sad part, the producer of the documentary is a scam artist by the name of Arka Sengupta.  In 2016 in Alexandria, Virginia the hometown of Earl Lloyd I participated in the documentary along with his former friends and teammates.  Arka has since left the participants completely in the dark and has written several bad checks to researcher Ms. Cha Bah.

NBA scam artist Arka Sengupta 

Ms. Bah had spent hundreds of hours traveling in the District, Maryland and Virginia retrieving information from libraries and museums to help make the Earl Lloyd documentary a success.  Arka shown his appreciation by bouncing checks written to Ms. Bah while receiving thousands of investment dollars from NBA players such as; former San Antonio player Michael Finley, and active players Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.  NY Knicks’ star Camelo Anthony also wrote a big check, but still he cannot pay Ms. Bah?  Leonard was sold a bill of goods to become co-executive producer.  Arka has put brothers with names like Kawhi Leonard, Coodie and Chike on the marquee while he hides behind the scenes calling the shots.

 San Antonio players Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, former player Michael Finley and New York Knickerbocker’s star Camelo Anthony 

The scam started during the regular season 2016 and has spilled over into the 2017 NBA Play-offs.  Stories in the Undefeated (ESPN) and Slam Magazine never mention Arka Sengupta as the producer of the documentary.  Why is he hiding?  Arka is the invisible man who hides behind the scene while one of the NBA’s most respected players Kawhi Leonard is made the front man for the scam.

We forget so easy, I notice during Earl Lloyd’s 2003 NBA Hall of Fame induction, NBA legend and icon Red Auerbach was never mentioned in his acceptance speech.  It took fifty-three years (1950-2003) before Lloyd was finally inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame as a “Contributor”.  It never would have happen without Red, the late Washington Time sports columnist Dick Heller and yours truly who reminded the historians on the selection committee they had forgotten Earl Lloyd.

Now “The Fake News Sports Media”, sees no fraud, speaks no fraud, and writes no fraud—is this the new wave of sports reporting?   Is this how we celebrate the 70th  anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color line?

In 1947 Jackie was 1% of the entire league.  Today baseball celebrates that milestone with only 8% of African-American participation the lowest in decades (1986).  The country’s favorite past time is headed back to 1% and without black ownership.  In April 2017 Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of Jackie recently celebrated the ground breaking ceremony of the new museum named after him in NY City.  In the meantime, the Boston Red Sox team with the most African-American players (4) showed their true colors in a recent game against the Baltimore Orioles in Boston.  Several fans called Oriole outfielder Adam Jones the N word and then threw a bag of peanuts at him. Adam Jones should feel lucky Dodger fans threw a black cat at Jackie!

While the Boston Red Sox have the most African-American players (4) I find it difficult to believe that the home of one of baseball’s greatest hitters, the late Tony Gwynn, the San Diego Padres have no African-Americans on its roster!  African-Americans are so low on the totem pole, black players like David Ortiz, Derek Jeter and the flow of Hispanic players claim to be anything but black (aka Tiger Woods).  They really think this is a color blind society (several days ago a white cop in Texas shot into a car of black teen-agers driving away from the scene of a party killing a 15 year old honor student).  The beat goes on!

In the meantime, Rachel Robinson will celebrate her 95th birthday in July, the thought of the opening of the museum in July 2019 will be a great birthday present for her after waiting decades to make this a reality.

A grant of 6.5 million was needed from the Strada Education Network to put the project over the top.  The grant gave the foundation a total of 25 million dollars for renovation on the first floor.  Sharon and Rachel must now find a way to raise another 18 million to operate the museum when it opens in 2019.

How can this be while a filthy rich Major League Baseball (32 teams) stands on the sidelines and its only contribution in memory of this great player and pioneer is a stature of him in front of Dodger Stadium, a measly one-million dollar donation and the annual retirement celebration of his number 42 being worn by players every April in stadiums around the country?

Is this just a camouflage for the ongoing racism in America’s favorite past time?  It has been 70 years since we first thought that Jackie Robinson had broken baseball’s color line, still in 2017 the “Good Old Boys” are still living in the dark ages without a minority owner.  The NBA has one minority owner, The NFL has none.

Michael Powell sports writer for the NY Times described the 2017 NFL draft as a “Meat Market”, where the players were treated no different than the slaves on plantations in the 1600s.

Earl Lloyd was often heard saying, “I was no Jackie Robinson” he got that right, but who was or is?  The more things change the more they remain the same.

 

PHIL CHENIER THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRISTY WINTER SCOTT?

The Round Ball Report family

 

The Round Ball Report all things basketball is seen on local cable television CTV 76 in Prince Georges County, Maryland.  For over two decades the program has been The Farm Team for producing sports media personalities and a training ground for behind the scenes technicians in radio and television nationally.

The Executive Producers are the dynamic husband and wife team of Andrew and Darlene Dyer.

Christy would learn her sports broadcasting lessons from her mentor Andrew Dyer who brought her on the Round Ball Report and made her the co-host of the show.  The best cross-over move in local sports talk television.

Her resume has been unchallenged in a industry dominated by ego tripping males. She was an All-American high school basketball player at South Lakes in Reston, Virginia.  Christy led South Lakes to an undefeated season her senior year (29-0) and to a state title.

She averaged 23 points a game and 14 rebounds and 6 block shots.  Christy closed out her high school career scoring 1,785 points, 1,075 rebounds and 492 block shots.  She now resides in the South Lakes High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Christy’s star continued to shine and rise at the University of Maryland it was here she scored 1,679 points (second most in school history) grabbed 723 rebounds ( 4th in school history), and played in 123 games ( No. 1 in school history).  In 1989 she help Maryland win their 8th ACC title and led the team to their 3rd Final 4 appearance.  She was named First Team All-ACC and Kodak All-East Region while leading the team in scoring with 533 points.

WNBA had not arrived on the pro basketball scene so she took her ball and headed overseas for parts unknown.  First stop, Pistoria, Italy and then on to Fribourg, Switzerland where she spent two years, she averaged an eye-popping 37 points a game and 12 rebounds, with a career high 48 points.

She returned home and put her priorities in order, family, coaching and broadcasting.

Her first coaching jobs would be at George Mason (assistant), Maryland (assistant), and Georgetown (assistant).  She returned to her alma mater South Lakes in 2005.  The school was on life support (0-21).  She would become a breath of fresh air and add new life to the program.

In 2009 Christy was named the Liberty District Coach of the Year and there was no stopping her now. In 2013 South Lakes qualified for state tournament with a 24-6 record for the first time since Christy took them there in 1986.

She was named the “Women in Sports Coach of the Year” which recognized the top female coach in any sport in Fairfax County.  In 2014 South Lakes won the District Championship, their first in 27 years.

The Round Ball Report experience would lay the foundation for her career in sports broadcasting.

There would be many bumps in the road as it related to the press media table access.  The early Verizon Center PR Media staff treated The Round Ball Report and minority media like “Second Class” media outlets.  It brought back memories of the old home of the Bullets at Capitol Center in the 70s.   The press table was split down the middle at half-court, white media on the left and black media on the right.  I know this is history some would rather forget.

When we were colored: WHUR Radio’s the late Ron Sutton and I share a laugh at Bullet’s press table in the 70s.

Enter, Brian McIntyre (NBA Media VP) and Scott Hall (Wizards PR) these two men have open doors for women and minority media as it related to an air of fairness at Verizon Center (I can only speak for Verizon Center).  Scott checked his ego at the door and was willing to listen to our grevancies.

Christy had never been to an NBA All-Star Game and had been denied credentials for the game in LA in 1994.  She ask me to help her get there.

Mr. McIntyre and Scott picked up the ball from that point on and Christy and a crew from the Round Ball Report were credential and were able to attend their first All-Star game.

I suspected that Phil was on the way out when I heard him, Christy and Steve Buckhantz broadcasting a Wizard’s game together last month.  I told my wife Hattie, “Phil Chenier is a Dead Man Walking!”

Phil supported my non-profit Kids In Trouble/Inside Sports endeavors, celebrity tennis tournaments and Christmas Toy Parties, etc.

1982 Inside Sports Celebrity Tennis Tournament: Back row L-R: Adrian Dantley, Carlos Terry, Adrian Branch, Earl Monroe, Phil Chenier, Betsy Stockard, Hattie T, Renee Pousaint, Timmy Newsome, Donnie Simpson, William Outlaw, Bad News Barnes, Craig Brewer, Bernie Bickerstaff, Freddy Scott, Kevin Warren. Kneeling: Thurston McLain, HBell, Calvin Woodland and little Phil Chenier, Jr.

He was a great jump shooting guard for the 1978-79 Washington Bullets champioship team, but his career as a color analyst was mediocre at best.  He was definitely bless to have lasted 33 years in a cut-throat business (hats off to Ted Leonis).  His jersey number definitely should be retired after 41 years with the organization.

Owner Abe Polin and his favorite player Wes Unseld share a championship moment immediately after the game (1978-79).

The man who marched to his own drummer Elvin Hayes reflects on the year with me and Nike rep John Phillips at a Nike reception for the champions at the downtown Hilton Hotel in NW DC.

 Elvin later visits Nike store in Georgetown

Christy is the logical choice to replace Phil, she has paid her dues and deserves the job hands down.  I could be wrong and if I am, we have not progressed as much as I thought.

 

MUHAMMAD ALI AND EARL LLOYD: “FAKE NEWS” IN AMERICAN SPORTS HISTORY!

Black slaves were the first professional athlete, their professional origin took place during slavery when they carried their owner’s plantation’s colors into the boxing ring, on horseback and foot races in the hundred yard dash and beyond.  There were wages being bet, it was plantation verus plantation.  This was how slave owners spend their leisure time entertaining themselves at the expense of their slaves.  Some slaves won their freedom as a result of these contests and some lost their lives.

The games continue in today’s modern day pro sports where the plantation mentality still exist in the sky suites and on the playing fields and arenas across America.  Today freedom is won through something called “Free Agency!”  And some pro athletes really think they are FREE.

The best example; NFL QB Colin Kapernick is a “Free Agent” but he cannot find a job in the NFL, all because he decided to kneel during the playing of the National anthem to protest the inhuman treatment of people of color.  Has anyone seen my old friends Vince Lombardi (NFL), Al Davis (NFL), Edward Bennett Williams (NFL), Dan Rooney (NFL), Walter Brown (NBA)–I wonder where have they all gone?

Ninety-nine percent of the owners of these teams in 2017 are still all white males with one black face added to the club—Michael Jordan (NBA).

NBA black players are now being ripped off in the name of Black History.  For example; in the NBA there is All-World Lebron James and NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd.  LeBron’s selling out is no different than Michael Jordan.  Michael responded to critics who question him for not supporting a black politician in his home state of North Carolina.  He said, “White folks buy Nikes to!”  

Since the passing of my friend (now everybody’s friend) Muhammad Ali, everyone is an expert on the trial and tribulations of the Greatest. LeBron James is the latest designated expert chosen by HBO and someone or something called “The Ali Estate!”

My question, what does Lebron James know about the life and times of Muhammad Ali?  Only what he has read and learned from he say, she say!  He has no up close and first hand experiences to share with Ali fans all over the world.  This is President Trump’s version of “Fake News!”

I am still waiting to hear Lebron James’ explanation and excuse for selling out Muhammad Ali and why does he think he is an expert on Muhammad Ali!

The group that brought the rights to his name and likeness for 50 million dollars and 20% of the monies generated from the advertising in 2006 are now The Ali Estate.  If you look closely, the group resembles the one-percent,  NFL, NBA and MLB owners.

LeBron James is now being called The Greatest basketball player in the world.  He must think that makes equivalent to Muhammad Ali, nothing could be further from the truth.  If he continues on this path as producer of the HBO documentary as it relates to The Greatest, it will prove he is the fraud several in the sports media are calling him.  It has nothing to do with his basketball skills and everything to do with his qualities as a human being.

There are only a few selected friends and boxing personalities who can give First Hand up close experiences as it relates to Muhammad Ali, his brother Rahman Ali, R & B Legend Lloyd Price, boxing promoter Don King, Business Manager Gene Kilroy, NFL legend Jim Brown and yours truly Harold Bell.   Not one of them can provide the sit down one of a kind video (copyrights) interview I had with him after his historical “Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman in 1974.  Its the only one on one interview he allowed during his entire boxing career with a black eye.

We can eliminate his faithful servant and brother Rahman because of his emotional state brought on by a “Dysfunctional Family.”  Rahman was responsible for my All-Access to his brother at the height of his career.  My friend Lloyd Price, I have no clue as it relates to his participation in this HBO project, if I had to guess I would say ZERO! Don King is persona non grata.  He owes Ali his boxing life and career, his Thank You was to steal from him.  My man Gene Kilroy was Ali’s business manager and friend its anybody’s guess whether he will participate.  He once told me, “Harold you could have been a millionaire if you had played the game, they would have been calling Howard Cosell the next Harold Bell.”  

This brings me to my “Friend” NFL legend Jim Brown, I am sure he is in Lebron’s camp.  He was one of Ali’s closest friends and Jim would sell anybody out for a dollar–I was there when he sold out NFL legend Willie Wood out in 2007 via Willie’s lawyer Bob Schmitz for a mere $57,000 (peanuts), Willie was suffering from dementria and is now living his life out in a nursing home on Connecticut Avenue in NW DC.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAZVZjGeYpY / setting the record straight

 Top Photo: Jim Brown and HB Bottom Photo: Attorney Bob Schmitz and Willie Wood

In the NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd’s story “The First to Play” is now being sold by a scam artist by the name of Arka Senguta of Indian descent.  The first players to be sucked-in so far are former San Antonio swingman Michael Finley, active players, Tony Parker, Kiwa Leonard and NY Knicks star Camelo Anthony are the players on record who have fallen prey to the scam so far.  Senguta has a couple of brothers disguised as black men fronting “the documentary” with names like Coodie and Chike.  They are send into the black community making the production look black as he calls the shots from afar. He has a female partner in this rip-off who goes by the name of Jo-Lee. Warning to all NBA players if you see this team of scam artist coming your way with “The First to Play” hide your wallet, here in the DC area they already taken advantage of Earl Lloyd’s friends in his hometown of Alexandria, Va.

http://www.slamonline.com/media/slam-tv/earl-lloyd-movie-trailer/#TPbJ30BoQ8HexGj3.97 /

Senguta’s first victim in Alexandria was researcher Ms. Cha Bah.  She gathered the stats, and spent untold hours traveling to libraries in and around DC, Maryland and Virginia.   She found the men who were familiar with Earl Lloyd the basketball player and Earl Lloyd the man!  These men were legends in their own right took the time to sit around for several hours talking about the trials & tribulations of a home town boy who made good.  Ms. Bah has been trying to collect her fee of $2000,00 for more than two-years with little or no success.  She has dwindle the bill down to $1,300.00.  Mr. Senguta keeps nickle and diming her like this was some kind of game.

I had mixed emotions about participating in the documentary, but volunteered to participate.  I was not asking for anything or expecting anything, except I wanted to see the documentary a success.

I first met Earl Lloyd when I was attending Spingarn HS in DC it was in the 50s after he had already signed an NBA contract making him the first black player to play in a game in league history.  His older brother lived in NW DC and Earl would often visit him. He played in pick-up basketball on the Parkview and Bannecker playgrounds near his brother’s home.  In those pick-up games you could the DC elite, NBA great Elgin Baylor and Harlem Globetrotter Tarzan Cooper.  There were playground legends, like Daddy Grace, Willie Jones and NFL great Willie Wood also showcasing their skills.

Earl was drafted out of West Virginia State by NBA icon Red Auerbach who was then coaching the Washington Caps.  He played in only 7 games for Red when the team folded in January 1951.

Earl was picked up off waivers after serving in the U S Army by the Syracuse Nationals, where he played 6 seasons. In 1955 he and teammate Jim Tucker became the first blacks to play on an NBA Championship team.  Syracuse beat the Ft. Wayne Pistons 4 games to 3 for the NBA title. Earl’s best year as a pro was 1955 when he average 10 points and 7 rebounds a game.  These stats hardly qualified him for the NBA Hall of Fame.  He was more of a “Enforcer and Hatchet Man” for the Nationals.  In the 1953-54 seasons he led the league in fouls and disqualifications.

He was finally inducted in the NBA Hall of Fame as a “Contributor” which meant he was inducted for being the “First” to play in a game and “First” to particpate in and win a NBA Championship along with teammate Jim Tucker.  The induction took place 2003 fifty-five years after retirement from the NBA.  This was after I spearheaded a campaign with the  late NBA legendary coach, Red Auerbach and the late Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller. During his acceptance speech he never mention Red Auerbach how Red was intrumental in getting him inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.  Standing beside him was his presenter, Dave “Judas’ Bing.

Top: Earl Lloyd and Red Auerbach during Black History tribute. Bottom: Earl Lloyd and Dave Bing at hall of fame induction

It bothers me when I see a pro athlete like LeBron James selling out his own history out at the expense of one of the greatest athletes and human beings the world has ever known, Muhammad Ali.  This kind of selfishness and prostitution display by Lebron will only tarnish his NBA image.  Ali was always about being INCLUSIVE and not EXCLUSIVE, but when you have Jim Brown in your ear that is par for the course.

Ali’s wife Lonnie has no imput as it relates to this documentary.  She is nothing more than a “Figure Head” that sits on the Board of Directors, she has no vote.

The eye/witness account of her non-participation comes from the CEO & Publisher of Black Men in America.com, Gary Johnson.  Gary shared a plane ride with Lonnie Ali several years ago and she confessed “I have no vote on the Board of Directors!”

The Rev. Gary Johnson (coincident) is the leader of the Southern Christian Leader Conference (SCLC) in Miami, Florida.  In February of 2017 he told me in Washington, DC “Lonnie Ali was in my office recently hustling photographs of her and Muhammad Ali” she wanted a donation for the photo signed by her and said, ‘With my signature this photo would be worth $5,000 on the open market.’  Rev. Johnson said, ‘If she wanted more than $50 we were going to have a problem!’  I am assuming he donated 50 bucks.

The problem with this documentary by HBO and Lebron James is when you read in a press release and it says, “This production has the blessings of the Ali Estate!”  It makes you wonder who is the Ali Estate, evidently it is not his brother Rahman, his wife Lonnie (no vote) or his famous daughter Laila.

Who can you trust with Black American History, certainly not HBO and Lebron James or Arka Sengupta!

Don’t expect any follow-up from Mike Wise, Michael Wilbon, David Aldridge, Bryant Gumble, James Brown, Charles Barkley, or Stephen A. Smith, etc.  The bottom-line, this story will reside under the banner of “Fake News!”  Hopefully, Muhammad Ali and Earl Lloyd both can RIP.  The TRUTH will surface!

THIS DAY IN BLACK HISTORY: MARTIN LEFT FOOT PRINTS IN THE SAND BUT NO ONE DARED TO FOLLOW!

In April 2017 Martin is gone and Willie Wood has dementria living out his life in a nursing home in DC

“Has anyone seen my old friends Abraham, Martin, John, Bobby, Megar, Malcolm, or Muhammad—can anyone tell me where they have all gone.  They freed a lot of people, the good die young.”  I just look around and I feel all alone.”  

These are the lyrics from “My Old Friend Abraham!” written and performed by song writer Dion Mucci.

Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye, and Mahalia Jackson all followed his lead, but their song was never hearn among today’s black leaders.

On April 4, 1968, I was standing on the corner of 9th & U streets in North West Washington, DC with my co-worker, NFL great Willie Wood.

We had just had a sandwich in Che Maurice a popular in-crowd restaurant in the Nation’s Capitol.  Willie and I were working for the DC Recreation & Parks as Roving Leaders (Youth Gang Task Force).  It was a bright sun shiny day and we decided to just hang out on the corner and enjoy the beautiful weather.

I remember folks were just driving by and honking their horns and yelling at Willie who was a legendary athlete in the city and a member of the World Champion Green Bay Packers football team.

I know some of you are asking the question, “What was an NFL player doing working for DC Recreation & Parks?”

In 1968 NFL players were not making the asinine money NFL players are making today.  Willie needed a second job to supplement his income as an NFL player.  During the off-season he returned home to work as a Roving Leader or teach school.

Suddenly, someone drove by and yelled “Harold they just shot Dr. King in Memphis.”   On April 4, 2017 I am left wondering where has he gone?  We stood on that U street corner never knowing  that it would be a day we would never forget!

HAROLD BELL AND RICHARD NIXON: BLACK HISTORY IS AMERICAN HISTORY!

By Publisher Gary A. Johnson, and staff of Black Men In America.com

Posted March 14, 2017

Hattie and Harold with President Nixon in Oval Office (1969)  Hattie and Harold in the Oval Office at the  Richard Nixon Library (2017)

This is NOT a Fake News Story. 

Harold and his wife Hattie recently returned from the Richard Nixon Library.  They were invited to visit the museum on President’s Day weekend (February 21, 2017 Black History Month).  Harold wrote about his trip for a chapter in his upcoming book (The Richard Nixon Library:  A 60-Year Journey Back When a House Was Not A Home) that he has agreed to share.

I’ve spoken with Harold about his relationship with Richard Nixon for several years now.  I would have NEVER, EVER, EVER, pictured Richard Nixon in the way that Harold has described him.  I don’t think I’m alone in this view.  So let me share some background information about Harold and Richard Nixon before you read Harold’s summary article about his trip to the Richard Nixon Library.

In 1957, Harold Bell was a student-athlete attending Spingarn High School in Northeast Washington.  He caddied on the weekends to help his mother a single parent make ends meet for their family that included his two brothers (a 4th brother lived with their grandmother).

He was a caddy at the Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland where he carried golf clubs for Vice-President Richard Nixon and Attorney General William Rogers.  As Harold tells the story, the first outing took place about three weeks after he started to caddy at the course.  As they headed for the first tee the Vice President asked if he was ready for an “adventure”?  Harold said, “Yes, sir.” Later, he explained that he did not fully understand what Nixon really meant when he said “adventure,” but after three holes, he clearly understood.  Nixon’s golf balls spent more time in the woods and trees than most birds and bees.  Mr. Rogers was a pretty decent golfer and he was teaching the Vice-President how to play.

It turned out to be a long evening, Nixon and Rogers played 18 holes of golf instead of nine as was intended when they left the first tee.  It was now late and it was dark outside and Harold needed a ride to the bus stop to get back home.  Here’s his account of what happened next.

“The likelihood of him getting a ride to town before 10 p.m. did not look good. He would probably end up catching a ride with the help (cooks or locker-room men).  But suddenly the Vice President and the Attorney General came bouncing out of the clubhouse, and before he could say, “Good night,” the Vice President had offered him a ride into town.  It had never crossed his mind to ask for a ride, even though members routinely gave caddies rides into town to catch the bus.  The “adventure” became many more adventures and the development of a lasting friendship with then Vice-President Nixon.  During the evenings of golf and the rides to the bus from 1957-1958, Mr. Nixon and Harold talked about The Game Called Life.  He wanted to know where he lived, how many brothers and sisters he had, what school he attended, what sports did he play?  Harold was caught completely off guard.  Here was the Vice President of the United States taking an interest in a poor little black kid from a housing project in Northeast Washington, DC.  The one thing that he wanted to brag about was how great an athlete he was. He bragged about how he played three sports at Spingarn High School in NE DC and was a starter in all three.  That first conversation was kind of awkward.  As Harold bragged about his athletic feats Mr. Nixon turned and looked him in the eye and said, “That’s great, but how are your grades?”   He saw Attorney General Rogers peering in the rear view mirror waiting for his response.  He put his head between his legs and said, not good sir, not good.  Mr. Nixon’s response was, “Harold, you have got to do better.  Your education will take you further than  football, basketball or baseball.”

It would be 10 years later before he would see Mr. Nixon again.  This time he would be President of the United States and he was touring the riot-burned streets in the Shaw neighborhood, where coincidently, Harold was now working as a Roving Leader for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks.  His work was  with at-risk children and youth gangs.

His chances of getting a chance to speak with his friend did not look promising.  Now there were two to three Secret Service men deep, he remembered the good old days when there were no Secret Service.  He tried to get one of the Secret Service men’s attention and yelled “Tell him its Harold Bell I use to caddy for him at Burning Tree Golf Course.” According to Harold, the Secret Service man’s response was, ‘Write him a letter’ and he did.

Two months later Harold received a letter from the White House and President Nixon.  Mr. Nixon extended an invitation to Harold and his wife Hattie, to join him and then-Secretary of State William Rogers at the White House for lunch.  In 1969, Bell received a presidential appointment to become the first civilian to head a Domestic Actions Program on a military facility in the United States (Bolling AFB in NE DC).

Harold could not remember Mr. Nixon ever asking him if he was a Republican or a Democrat.  Richard Nixon accepted Harold Bell for who he was.  Nixon also cared about Harold Bell as a person and mentored him during their walks around the golf course and the rides to his bus.  He was more interested in him becoming a decent human being instead of a pro athlete.

Many blacks for decades question Richard Nixon’s civil rights record as did the Shaw/Cardozo residents who seemed to be in shocked when he paid them a visit in 1969.  There was little doubt in Harold’s mind about his visit—he knew Nixon cared.  Harold said, “President Nixon was not born with a Silver Spoon in his mouth.”

Harold and his wife Hattie have spent over 50+ years working with inner-city youth in the Washington, DC area through their organization “Kids In Trouble.”  The benefactors are in the thousands.  He was the first to encourage pro athletes, judges, entertainers and media personalities to give back to the community.

In 2016 he put the Nixon Library on his “Bucket List,” February 2017 would mark the 60th Anniversary when he first met the Vice-President and his golfing partner Attorney General William Rogers.  They first met in February 1957 at the Burning Tree golf course.

Harold has never forgotten President Nixon provided him with a platform to become a legendary youth advocate and a pioneer in radio and television sports talk shows in Washington, DC.  His “Inside Sports” talk format not only changed the way we talk sports in America, it revolutionized the way we talk sports.  It was on his sports talk show he coined the phrase, “Every black face I see is not my brother and every white I see is not my enemy.”

In 1969 President Nixon would introduce him to his White House mentor, the late Director of Communications, Herb Klein.  Mr. Klein and his staff of Mary Ann Snow and Stanley Scott would help open doors for him he never thought possible.

Mr. Klein left the White House in 1973 a year before the resignation of President Nixon.  Years later he came back to DC for a newspaper conference.  He had returned to the newspaper business (the business that he loved) with the San Diego Union Tribune as its editor.  He invited Harold to have lunch with him at Union Station.

Herb Klein was a man of integrity, honesty and a class act.  He encouraged Harold to send his DVDs (especially, the one on one interview with Muhammad Ali) and CDs, photos, newspaper and magazine clippings to the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda so that they could be added to the Nixon archives.

Mr. Klein said, “Harold your outstanding accomplishments during and after the Presidency of Richard Nixon should all be on display in the library, I am not aware of anyone in the White House matching your accomplishments in the community and sports media”.

The one thing that President Nixon, Herb Klein and Harold had in common was—sports.  During his rounds of golf the Vice-President would give him an earful as it related to updates on current events taking place in the world of sports.  Harold was surprise when he found out Nixon was on the football team at Whittier College, he never mention he had once played the game himself.  Mr. Klein was just as knowledgeable when it came to sports.  He was the sports editor of the school newspaper for the University of Southern Calalifornia.

He was instrumental in getting Harold his first ever NFL press credentials.  The credentials were for the historical matchup between the Washington Redskins and the undefeated Miami Dolphins in Los Angeles in 1973.   The undefeated Dolphins won 14-7 and they are still today the only team to go undefeated in league history.

In April 1994, when Harold discovered his mentor and friend President Richard M. Nixon had gone home to be with the Lord, he wrote a thank you column in the Washington Post (see link below).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/1994/05/01/he-wasnt-a-great-golfer-but/db96654f-379b-45ed-81b3-b33f3aa1401f/?postshare=7931488045304304&tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.26a96ea1cabc

In October 1994, Harold would receive a letter and invitation from Nixon Library Director John Taylor.  The letter read, “Needless to say, we are honored to have your papers in President Nixon’s library, and although he has surely heard your “Thank you” from his present vantage point, he would definitely direct us to add that this building is not only his “home” but yours to.  Whenever, therefore, your paths lead to the Los Angeles/Orange County area, enabling you to make a homecoming to the Nixon Library, please let us know so that we can have the joy of welcoming you and thanking you again in person.”

 

The common thread: Nixon wearing jersey No. 12 Whittier College and Harold wearing No. 82 Winston-Salem State

 

Here’s a letter written by the 37th President to his friend Harold Bell

Dear Harold:

It was good to hear from you again after so many years and I am glad to know you have almost completed your college program, and are working here in the District with the Department of Recreation.

Your reflections on our late evening golf at Burning Tree brought back wonderful memories, and I well remember our discussions at the time. Like too many youngsters you had to begin your working career early and were forced to bypass the good times and games that most boys and girls your age were able to enjoy. What makes me very proud of you is that you have returned to the young people whose lives today resemble your own early years, and that you are dedicated to giving them help along the difficult road of life. They sorely need the inspiration and the example that you are able to give them.

It is my prayer as President that the hope for something better will always be with all our boys and girls as it was with you. You may have been suffering, but you were determined not to let it get you down. I am glad you are there to help maintain the spark of hope for these youngsters and I promise you I shall always work to keep that hope alive and to make progress possible for all of our people.

I would enjoy seeing you again and I hope it will not be too long before we have a chance to say hello.

With warm personal regards,
Sincerely,

RICHARD NIXON

[Mr. Harold K. Bell, 1204-42nd Place NE., Washington, D.C. 20019]

Note: The letter was dated June 25, 1969, and released July 11, 1969. Mr. Bell, accompanied by his wife, Hattie visited the President at the White House on the afternoon of July 11, 1969.

 

Here’s a letter written by Harold Bell to Richard Nixon

 

Mr. Bell’s letter, which was dated May 12, 1969, and released by the White House Press Office along with the President’s letter on July 11, 1969, read as follows:

Dear Mr. President:

It has been a little more than ten years ago since we last met and there might be some doubt as to my identity. Mr. President, my name is Harold K. Bell, I was your golf caddy at the Burning Tree Golf Course. I remember staying out of sight from Mr. Elbin until you and Mr. Rogers arrived for one of your late evening rounds of golf. I would then pop up, hoping that Mr. Elbin would call me for the bags and he always did. I think he knew what was going on, but he never said anything.

Things were pretty tough for me then and I don’t quite know where I got the strength to keep going, but I am thankful that I did. I think that some of the strength came from our conversations as we rode to catch my bus at Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW. I am saying all this because I feel everyone needs to know that there is someone who cares, whether it be the Vice President or the newspaperman on the corner. Mr. President, I was not at all surprised at your recent appearance on Seventh Street. I expected nothing less, because I know that you do care about the welfare of your fellow man.

Since I left Winston-Salem College in North Carolina in 1963, I have been working with youths. My present position is that of a Roving Leader (GS-9) for the Department of Recreation, serving the Cardozo area. At this time, I need only a semester to complete my B.A. degree and I plan to continue my education this summer at D.C. Teachers College. My career has provided me with many opportunities, but the greatest satisfaction I have had is to be able to show other disadvantaged youths that there is a brighter road, and that there are people who want to help them if they are willing to help themselves. I have firsthand knowledge of this, as I can remember the moments of frustration in my life which centered around the agony of poverty.

Sir, I have never been a backslapper or hand shaker, but I felt an impulse to write and let you know that I am pleased to see you back in the Nation’s Capital as our country’s President. Most Negroes in the United States are not aware of your past, which surely was not a bed of roses. If they were, I am most certain that they would come to realize that you, as an individual, have had time to accumulate more of an insight into America’s problems than any Chief Executive before you.

I am writing this letter, Mr. President, to tell you that if the people give you a chance, and I don’t mean blacks and whites, but all the people, they will find out, as I did what a great person you are. Everyone seems obsessed with this racial thing, and talking about black power and white power, but what we need is people power, individuals pulling together to make this a stronger Nation. So here is wishing you all the luck and success there is in the world.

I have enclosed some newspaper clippings which relate to my work as a Roving Leader.
Respectfully yours,
HAROLD K. BELL

Enclosures

  1. You must be shooting in the low 70’s now (smile) H.K.B.

[The President, the White House, Washington, D.C. 20500]

Citation: Richard Nixon: “Exchange of Letters with Harold K. Bell of the District of Columbia.,” July 11, 1969. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2124.

The first encounter and the memories at Burning Tree Golf Course would stay with me forever, but the Nixon Library was anything but home.  During our visit there in February 2017 there was no trace of Harold and Hattie Bell to found.  The only traces of black involvement, was a Black History Month display in the entrance of the museum.  In a short video introduction there was also a cameo appearance by Robert Brown, who was a Special Assistant to the President.

Arthur Fletcher, the Godfather of Affirmative Action and Civil Rights, served as President Nixon’s Assistant Secretary of Labor.  He served in the Ford, Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.  He was out front and carried the spears during The Philadelphia Plan.  The Philadelphia Plan required government contractors in Philadelphia to hire minority workers.  John Wilks was a also a mover and shaker in the administration.  Another key figure in my association with the President was Rob Odle, who was a Staff Assistant to the President. Rob also continues to serve pro bono as the general counsel of the Richard Nixon Foundation at the presidential library in Yorba Linda, California.

President Nixon is still bigger than life as Harold stands in front of a portrait of his mentor at the Richard Nixon Library

In July 2007, I received a telephone call from a staff member of Senator Bob Dole’s office inviting me to attend a tribute dinner in honor of President Nixon sponsored by “The February Group,” a group of Nixon White House loyalists.  The tribute dinner would be held in a couple hours, I said, “Thanks, but no thanks.”  I explained that I had plans to play tennis and was on my way out of door.  I hung up the phone and as I was looking for my keys the phone rang again, this time it was Senator Dole.

Senator Dole refused to take no for an answer, and said, “Harold, the President’s daughter Tricia is going to be there and she wants to meet you.  She read your thank you column in the Washington Post.”

I remembered Senator Dole had inserted the column into the Congressional Record.  I relented an agreed to attend.  I was the only brother of color on the guest list. Shortly after my arrival Senator Dole invited me to the podium to speak to the February Group and Tricia Nixon.  As I started to speak a wave of emotions came over me. I could hardly get a word out.  I brought the house down when described the President’s golf on how his balls spend more time in the woods and trees than the birds and bees.  I was given a standing ovation as I left the podium.  Tricia, embraced me and thanked me for coming.  It was a great and emotional evening.

You can watch me speaking to the February Group and Tricia in the video below:

 

Hattie and Harold in fronth of the home and birthplace of Richard M. Nixon

The first encounter and the memories at Burning Tree Golf Course would last him for a life time, but the Nixon Library was anything but home.  During his visit there in February 2017 there was no trace of Harold and Hattie Bell to found.  The only traces of black involvement, was a Black History Month display in the entrance of the museum.  In a short video introduction there was also a cameo appearance by Robert Brown.

Arthur Fletcher was the vanguard of the Civil Rights movement with the Nixon White House.  He was out front and carried the spears during “The Philadelphia Plan”!  John Wilks was a mover and shaker in the administration.

Thanks to Library Communications Director Joe Lopez (on far right) and his great staff, the visit to his “Home away from home” was not a total blackout!

Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC.  Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities.  The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 50+ years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc.   To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official website The Original Inside Sports.com.  You can also see the video below.

 

DC MAYOR ENDORSES ROGUE COP PETER NEWSHAM AS DC NEW POLICE CHIEF!

bowser-and-newshamnewsham

                                   DC POLICE CHIEF PETER NEWSHAM 

chief-burtell-santas-helper

Burtell Jefferson the first black Chief of Police in DC was the original version of “Officer Friendly” in the inner city.  Seen hosting Kids In Trouble toy party for needy children.

serpio-baltimore-cop0003

Michael Wood a former Baltimore cop exposed racism against people of color in the city police department long before the Department of Justice and Freddy Gray.  The Justice Department after the fact said, “Racial Bias Pervasive Among Baltimore Police.”

Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s appointment of Peter Newsham as the new chief of police in the nation’s capitol is a slap in the face to “Good Cops” across America and sends the message, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”  Newsham is well known in police circles as a drunk and domestic violence (wife and girlfriends are on record in court proceedings).  His wife accused him of domestic violence and his many girlfriends all backed her story.

Several years ago he was found lying in a DC street drunk, the department confiscated his gun. Where there is smoke you can bet there is a fire.

This account of his personal problems with alcohol and domestic violence was aired on TV 5 Fox News in December of 2016.  Law enforcement as a profession has the highest percentage of domestic violence in America.  Peter Newsham is their poster boy in the nation’s capitol.  We cannot blame this appointment on President Donald Trump (see Fox TV 5 News link on Newsham at http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/221018540-story).

It is times like this you ask, “Where is the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus or our trail blazing civil rights warrior, John Lewis, the Urban League?  Unarmed people of color who are being shot dead in our streets by cops using them as target practice.

Peter Newsham has applied for police chief positions in Brandenton, Florida and in Phoenix, Arizona and both cities hired someone other than Newsham.  It seems like that would have been a “Red Flag” for DC politicians.  Evidently, they are gluttons for continued punishment at the hands of DC cops.

DC much like Prince George’s County and Baltimore is surely becoming “The Wild, Wild West” and a Police State on the East Coast!  Check out the police departments from NY City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Prince George’s County, DC to Virginia—all are corrupt and headed by “Good Old Boys” with the exception of Richard Ross in Philadelphia.

Mayor Bowser and DC Councilwoman Mary Che were not only aware of the report that aired on TV 5 Fox News, but I personally gave them background information of corruption taking place at the DC Police Department warehouse on the watch of Newsham and his cronies before the report aired on our local FOX News TV 5 station.

The written information was given to them at a benefit fund raiser for DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton in 2016.  I watched both politicians put the information in their purse.  The only reason I didn’t pass the information on to Congresswoman Norton was because she didn’t have a purse and I didn’t want her to leave it on a table in the restaurant.

There is little doubt that the report on FOX News TV 5 was brought to her attention, and it looks like these three minority women of color decided they would see no evil, speak no evil or hear no evil when it came to Peter Newsham’s appointment as the top cop in the nation’s capitol.

In the report I identified a police officer who had earned Inspector stripes and was assigned to the department’s warehouse.  He uncovered widespread corruption by Newsham and his cronies.  There were police records and other items of evidence being removed from the warehouse without authorized signatures.  He put the involved officers on notice “Not on my watch”!  He was immediately demoted back to Captain by Chief Cathy Lanier and reassigned.  (I also question Lanier’s qualifications on her new job to investigate domestic violence among NFL players when she did a piss poor job in her role as MPD police chief)  But I digress.

My brothers were cops, Robert Bell (U. S. Marshall 20 years) and Sgt. Earl K. Bell (DC Cop 14 years) were 4th generation Washingtonians and were raised in Mt. Airy Baptist Church in NW Washington, DC. Our Great-Grand Father Alfred Johnson Tyler laid the first brick to build the church in 1893.

The Tyler House was built for low income senior residents is located two blocks north of the church and is named after my Great-Uncle, the Rev. Earl Tyler.

“Serpico” the movie was based on the non-fictional book by Peter Maas.  The film follows about twelve years (1959-1971) in the life of Frank Serpico, a NYPD officer who wanted to do the best that he could as a policeman. Working as a uniform patrolman, Serpico completed every assignment.

Later he moves to plain clothes assignments, where he slowly uncovers cops doing drugs, taking paybacks and other criminal actions that fall under corruption. Serpico decides to tell others the truth about this, but other officers made it hard for him to tell the truth and threaten him with termination and other kinds of punishment.

This struggle led to fights in his unit, problems in his personal relationships, a near death experience, and the final meeting with the Knapp Commission, which met to investigate police corruption between 1970 and 1972.  (The commission disbanded before the release of the film).

Frank Serpico’s struggle with corruption in the New York City Police Department mirrors that of a DC cop–my brother, Sgt. Earl K. Bell.
The movie made its debut in 1973 and Earl K. Bell joined the DC Metropolitan Police Department in 1974.

If I did not know my brother I would swear he copied his style of policing from the movie, but I know better because he was raised by our heroes to be an independent thinker. Our heroes were black women, our mother Mattie Bell and our grandmother and the family matriarch, Amy Tyler Bell.  She was affectionately known as “Grandma Bell.”

We were raised in a NE housing project called Parkside in the 40s and 50s by a single mom. My older brother Robert was raised by Grandma Bell. Our heroes were not black athletes, they were black women who could not shoot a jump shot from behind the foul line, throw a football 75 yards in the air or hit a baseball out of a stadium, but they were Superstars in the most important game being played in Black America—The Game Called Life.

For far too long there has been a myth that a black woman needed a black man to properly raise black children—Mattie Bell and Grand Ma Bell proved that was a lie many decades ago.

The lessons of integrity and honesty taught by our mother Mattie and Grandma Bell would later surface during our adulthood, Earl as a U. S. Military Policeman and DC cop, Robert as a tire salesman, grocery store owner and a U. S. Marshall and me as a pioneering radio sports talk show host and youth advocate.

As a Army Military Policeman in Germany Earl led a group of black enlisted men in a boycott to downtown nightclubs that discriminated against blacks.

The July 1969 issue of JET magazine chronicled Earl’s trials and tribulations in the military as he fought for his and other enlisted men’s civil and human rights. The story also insinuated that I was visiting the White House with Richard M. Nixon and playing footsie with the President while my little brother was fighting racism in the U. S. Army.

The truth was his big brother was visiting the White House because during my youth I caddied at the Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Maryland on the weekends.  It was there I met Vice-President Nixon and he became my mentor.  This led me to receiving a Presidential appointment.  This appointment came from a man who never asked me if I was Republican or Democrat.

During our youth my brother Earl and I carried bags of groceries at the Safeway store for mostly white folks and I caddied on the weekends to help our welfare mother make ends meet.

Our introduction to cops will never be forgotten. We watched them conduct weekend raids on our house in the wee hours of the morning. My mother hosted card games and cut a dime on every dollar won. She also sold dinners and bootleg liquor to help make ends meet.

My brother Earl and I would sit on the steps and watch as the cops carried our mother out in handcuffs.  The charge was selling liquor and gambling without a license. We would sit there crying our eyes out, but she would look back and promise us “I will be back in time to get you ready for church in the morning” a promise she always kept.

There were other encounters with the police.  There was no such thing as a “Officer Friendly.”  I remember the time when no food was in the house, Earl and I decided to travel to the other side of the tracks to the Safeway to earn enough money to buy some food. This was a weekday and would find few shoppers in the store.  As we pretended to roam the isles looking for customers we decided to shoplift for our food.  We left the store with lunch meats, hotdogs and cheese stuffed in our shorts and jackets.

We were about to cross to the other side of the tracks to our housing project, but uddenly a police car jumped the curve and cut us off.  Two white cops got out and threw us in the back seat and sped off. They were calling us all kinds of Niggers and the like. We thought someone had snitched on us and we were in big trouble caught red-handed with the stolen goods.

In the meantime, they forgot to search us.  We took our new found meal and hide it under the seat of the car. We arrived at the 14th Police Precinct on Benning Road NE.  We were pushed into a room where there was a little old white lady who claimed she had been robbed by two black boys. Without hesitation she jumped straight up out of her seat and said “Those are not the Niggers who snatched my pocketbook.” The word Nigger never sounded so good!

The cops then took us to the back door and told us to stay out of trouble and to walk our black asses’ home. We walked about 50 yards and looked at each other and headed back to the police car and got our food from under the car seat. We laughed all the way home.

In 1958 Earl, my younger brother William and me became homeless after our mother suffered a nervous breakdown.  She had to be hospitalized.  Earl was sent to Cedar Knoll (a reform school for juveniles) and William was taken in by our neighbor Ms. Winnifred Powell and her two sons, Sonny and Gaylord.  I was left to wander the streets sleeping in park cars until my mother’s cousin Doretha discovered me sleeping in her car early one morning.  This led to an invitation to live with her.  I never missed a day of school because of my mentor/father coach Dave Brown and a school of dedicated Spingarn High School teachers led by our Principal Dr. Purvis Williams understood that it truly took a village to raise a “knuckle headed” child.

One year later my older brother was on his way to college (Maryland State) and Earl was released from custody of the juvenile court system.  In 1959, coach Dave Brown convinced Winston-Salem State College coach Clarence Bighouse Gaines to give me a football and basketball scholarship.  It saved my life.

In 1960, Earl hitch-hiked all the way to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to watch his big brother play his freshman year of college football.  I was a rising star under the critical eyes of “Bighouse” but still a knuckle head.  I encountered the “Freshman Rule” be seen and not heard.

It was homecoming when Earl arrived on campus out of nowhere only to witness his big brother was never to get off the bench. Winston-Salem State beat Elizabeth City like they had stolen something.  He later discovered my big mouth and bad attitude had landed me in “Bighouse’s Dog House.”

Earl caught a ride back to DC with friends.  He graduated from Spingarn High School in 1961 and before anyone knew it; he had made the smartest move of his life—he joined the U. S. Army.

Earl ended his Army career after 8 plus years and returned home to DC, but not before leaving his mark as a heavyweight boxing champion, table tennis champion, outstanding softball umpire and the anointed leader of a boycott of a downtown night club that discriminated against black enlisted men.

EARL PUNCHINGBAGPING PONG CHAMPArmy MP Sgt. Earl K. Bell works out on the heavy bag preparing to defend his heavyweight and table tennis titles in Mannheim, Germany 

It became apparent the Army had no use or room for an outspoken black man who refused to walk with his back bent and head down.  Grandma Bell and Mommy B’s life lessons kicked in when he needed them.

On his return home he took a job as a security guard at the DC jail which he later discovered was a dead-end street.  In 1972, he told me he was interested in a career as a DC policeman.  I had been working in the streets with youth gangs and at-risk children since 1965 (United Planning Organization and DC Recreation Department) and I had mixed emotions about his career choice, but I reluctantly gave him my blessings.

The turn-around of his life was impressive.  As a youth Earl was definitely a juvenile delinquent going to hell in a hurry. His crew included a petty thief by the name of Dave Bing who is now in the NBA Hall of Fame and was the Mayor of Detroit.

Earl’s pursue of a career in law enforcement puzzled many of his former “Boys in the Hood.” He suddenly became ‘The Man’ on their turf with the power to lock them up and there were times he did, but he never crossed the line.  He was known as a stand up and honest police officer.

TOP COPS JEFF EARLPhoto:  Burtell Jefferson, the first black DC Police Chief welcomes native Washingtonian officer Earl K. Bell to the department

Maurice Turner was a black Assistant Chief in the department when Earl first arrived to take the test.  He passed the physical and written exam with flying colors but he received a form letter saying he had been rejected.  When Washington Post columnist Bill Raspberry called to make an inquiry, Police Chief Jim Murray said, “Some clerk in his office sent Earl a form letter telling him that he had been rejected.  A check mark appeared next to a paragraph that said: “Our character investigation reveals sufficient adverse material to disqualify you.”

The “adverse material” according to Earl, consists of two petty larceny charges and a disorderly conduct when he was 14 and charges of yoke robbery and assault on a police officer when he was 16.

“They say it is because one of the crimes involved, a crime of violence was the reason they disqualified me,” he said. ‘But a juvenile court judge ruled that I was ‘not involved in the robbery or the police assault. I was found ‘involved’ in the one of the petty larcenies and the disorderly conduct.’

What it boils down to then, is that he was in danger or being denied appointment on the basic of a juvenile offense of which he was in essence, found innocent.  Fortunately, the case was brought to Murray’s personal attention and the “mix-up” has been straightened out only after Bill Raspberry of the Washington Post had intervened. Earl would become a rookie officer next week, Chief Murray said yesterday.

Still unresolved, however, is the question of turning down applicants—-because they have juvenile records. That’s one Murray might want to look into.  (If you believe Lt. Maurice Turner (later Chief) and Jim Murray’s version of this charade I have some property I would like to sell you located around the White House)!

Earl moved up in the ranks to become Sergeant and one weekend while in charge of the cell block, he discovered two cops one black and one white physically abusing black prisoners just for the hell of it.  He demanded they back off and reminded them this was not to happen again on his watch.  They refused to heed his warning and repeated the abuse.

Earl took the abusive officers to his black superiors and homeboys, Maurice Turner, Marty Tapscott and Isaac Fullwood.  They tucked their tails between their legs and ran away from the incident as they far as they could get.  I then advised him to take his case to the U. S. Attorney’s Office and the offending cops were convicted.  The black cop Musgrove served time but white cop never served a day in jail.

I never forget where I was and what I was doing on the morning when I got the news of my brother Earl’s automobile accident.  My alarm had just gone off in my apartment in Prince George’s County, Maryland and the telephone rang. It was my nephew Kenny with the bad news that my brother had been in a bad car accident on the way to work.

The accident took place 10 minutes from my residence in Suitland, Maryland minutes from the Suitland Parkway. My route to Southeast Community Hospital took me directly to Southern Avenue where the accident occurred.  Earl’s car looked like a crushed can of soup I don’t know how they managed to cut him out of that car. When I arrived at the hospital I was told by the doctors it didn’t look good.

The Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence caught up with Sgt. Earl K. Bell and when Assistant Chief Isaac Fullwood took him off the streets and assigned him to the Police and Fire Clinic as a way of discipline.  The first morning on his new assignment he had a head on collision with a 16 wheeler after encountering a patch of ice on Southern Avenue crossing over the Suitland Parkway.  The 16 wheeler and the Code of Silence won, he would spin the rest of his life in a wheelchair.  He died August 1, 2014, in a nursing home.

My brother Robert a U. S. Marshall faced the same “Code of Silence and Thin Blue Line” as his brother Earl, but my friend and mentor former U. S. Marshall-in Charge, Luke C. Moore had his back.

MOORE HB HAMILTONPhoto:  Former U. S. Marshall-in Charge and DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore and Chief Judge Eugene Hamilton

I am my brother’s keeper.  The decision by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Councilwoman Mary Che and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton to “Rubber Stamp” the appointment of Peter Newsham will set people of color back decades.  Its a slap in the face to my brothers and men and women of color in America.  Megar Evers, Emmit Till, Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X all must be turning over in their graves.

Wrongful deaths at the hands of Cops and the KKK in the past several years include, Travon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddy Gray, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Rumain Brisbon, Akai Gurley, Kajieme Powell, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michael Brown, John Crawford, Tyree Woodson, Victor White, Yvette Smith, McKenzie Cochran, Jordan Baker, Andy Lopez, Miriam Carey (DC), Jonathan Ferrell, Carlos Alcis, Larry Eugene Jackson, Deion Fludd, Kimani Gray, Johnnie Warren, Malissa Williams, Timothy Russell, Reynaldo Cuevas, Chavis Carter, Shantel Davis, Sharmel Edwards, Tamon Robinson, Ervin Jefferson, Kendrec McDade, Rekia Boyd, Shareese Francis, Wendell Allen, Nehemiah Dillard, Dante Price, Raymond Allen, Mauel Loggins, Ramarley Graham, Kenneth Chamberlain, Alonzo Ashley, Kenneth Harding, Raheim Brown, and Reginald Doucet to name just a few.  The bullet has replaced the rope as a lynching tool in Black America and the cops are using people of color as their targets.

Lett us not forget 31-year old Terrence Sterling was shot and killed while riding his motorcycle unarmed in 2016 on Peter Newsham’s watch.  The officer did not have his body camera on until after the shooting.  Bowser is also in favor of denying full access to the media and public of the body camera when use in police misconduct.

What makes the Bowser appointment all the more alarming is that white police chiefs have stepped to the forefront and apologized for their colleagues and ancestors’ brutality relating to people of color.

Terrence Cunningham former Chief of Police in Welsley Boston is now the President of the International Chiefs of Police, the largest police organization in America.  He recently apologized for his colleagues decades of mistreatment of people of color (see link below).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/10/17/head-of-u-s-police-chiefs-apologizes-for-historic-mistreatment-of-minorities/?utm_term=.12404c051ab5

Austin Callaway was abducted by a mob of white men 40 years ago from his jail cell in LaGrange, Georgia.  He was driven to the woods and shot to death.  The city’s current police chief Louis Dekmar publicly apologized for this act of racism that took place 77 years ago. This type of apology is rare in the South.

Peter Newsham’s law enforcement history speaks volumes and he has never apologized for any of his wrong doings.  He has had a long history of both personal and professional scandals. The 1990s and 2000s were plagued with allegations of alcoholism and domestic violence, a history of love affairs, as well as the mass unconstitutional arrest of 400 people at DC’s Pershing Park and a scathing third-party report uncovering the department’s mishandling of sexual assault cases while Newsham was at the helm of the MPD’s Investigative Services Bureau, he cost the city millions of dollars.  Then Assistant Chief Peter Newsham admitted in court he ordered the arrest of almost 400 protestors, journalists, and bystanders during the 2002 World Bank-International Monetary Fund protests at Pershing Park. The Federal District Court and the Appellate Court found the arrests to be “ludicrous.”

The arrests reportedly cost the city more than $10 million to settle a lawsuit filed by those wrongfully arrested. The attorney who filed the class-action lawsuit, Carl Messineo, works for the Civil Justice Partnership. He said officers “hogged tied them to their wrist to opposite ankle and left them in that painful position for 10, 15 hours and left them on the gymnasium floor. Why? Because people were engaged in dissent and they wanted to shut it down.”

The arrests that followed the 2002 demonstration protesting meetings between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund also reportedly cost taxpayers nearly $3 million just to defend Newsham and then Police Chief Charles Ramsey. Not only did Newsham order the wrongful mass arrest, but he was virtually allowed to investigate himself because at the time, he was also head of the Office of Professional Responsibility—the ethics branch of the police department.

It was ultimately discovered that the log of events that would have certified and documented the chain of command and orders made that day completely vanished. The evidence somehow disappeared in the immediate aftermath of the arrests. Messineo added, “You have the mass false arrest of 400 persons, followed by a massive coverup. Peter Newsham has never apologized, he’s never indicated that what he did was wrong. I believe the facts show he knew it was wrong. The court opinions found that no reasonable police officer could have ordered these mass arrests.”

Politico Magazine published a column in 2014 titled “The Ferugson Next Door.”  The column described the Prince George’s County Police Department.  The department has been under the scrutiny of the FBI for decades and is considered one of the most brutal in the country.

In an email in December 2016 to Pastor John Jenkins of First Baptist Church of Glen Arden, one the largest churches in the DMV, I asked him for his support while trying to find a solution and this was his response:

Bro. Bell,
 
I am aware and concerned about these incidents happening nationwide as well.  I have approached the issue by dialoging closely and personally with the chief of the police department of Prince George’s County. I strongly believe that dialog and accountability is the best strategy to address this troubling challenge. I am also in close relationship with the county’s states attorney. 
 
I agree with your assessment that we have new avenues to speak to injustice in our society. I am prayerful and hopeful that our efforts will address and change the injustices that our communities have been facing. 
 
Pastor Jenkins 
 scan0018Pastor John Jenkins is the Washington Wizards’ Chaplain, but playing ball with the Prince Georges County Police Department is foul!
While I believe Pastor Jenkins is playing politics by dialoging with a man who is the “The Problem” he is also jeopardizing the lives of people of color as he tries build on his personal ‘Power Base’.  For example, in February 2017 a black Prince George’s County Police Officer was seen on local TV FOX 5 News confirming the rampant racism in the department.  He was wearing a hood over his head to conceal his identity.  This is a sad commentary for the entire DMV.  Cops are scared of cops—meaning law abiding citizens stand no chance in this kind of “Wild, Wild West” climate— we have bullies and cowards wearing badges with guns with a license to kill.
In this kind of climate you cannot tell the hoodlums and thugs from the cops, because in many cases they are one of the same!
To make things worst you have leadership like Rushern Baker and Governor Larry Hogan, the blind leading the blind.
I wrote Maryland Governor Hogan a Priority Mail Letter in September 2016 alerting him of Prince George’s County cops riding in packs of threes harassing people of color.  As we head into March 2017 he has yet to respond.
Governor Hogan talked about President Donald Trump like a dog during the election.  He called him all kinds of names and brought his father to the polls making fun of “The Donald.”  He now has to eat crow and crawl up under the the man he so despised (see link).  I want Governor Hogan to understand, President Trump has not forgotten his presidential antics.  I know Donald Trump from his boxing promoting days in Atlantic City with the notorious Don King, he was nobody’s fool.
In August 2016, my charity “Kids In Trouble, Inc.,” hosted a Police and Community Relations forum with law enforcement officers in attendance from all over the region.  It was here the beans were spilled on one of DC’s most corrupt cops, Peter Newsham and that information was passed to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC City Councilwoman Mary Che and Councilwoman Eleanor Holmes Norton by me (see link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvmdLzVSf38&feature=em-share_video_user
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2016 Kids In Trouble, Inc Police and Community Relations Forum

Photo:  Jim Brown (NFL) and Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA) co-host 2007 Kids In Trouble, Inc., Police and Community Relations Forum in Washington, D. C.

 

 

 

COPS GOOD & BAD

Photo:  Washington Post Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Bill Raspberry cites the good of Police & Community Relations when cops and Kids In Trouble work together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

                                                        

boys in hood & cop

Photo:  Me meeting with Ricky Dargan, Kirby Burkes and Officer Charles Robinson, champions and teammates on a city wide softball tournament.

If the Peter Newsham appointment is approved, we are definitely headed in the direction of a Police State in the DMV.

My 50 years of experience of working in the streets with the Good, Bad and Ugly of police departments in the DMV,  Peter Newsham easily cries “Bad News.”

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