“K. C. Jones, was a great coach to play for. He was a class act, and everybody knew that, and yet he had a competitive edge that was fierce. You wanted to do all you could to please KC as a coach. He had this gentleness and kindness that at the right time he knew what to say. He was a great leader of men.” Danny Ainge.
Kudos to Danny Ainge, he got it right. K. C. Jones got a bad and rotten deal here with the Washington Bullets in 1975. A red hot Golden State Warrior team led by Coach Al Attles swept the Bullets in 4 games to win the NBA championship. The meeting between these two tuff guys was historical, it marked the first time in NBA history two black coaches had met in a NBA Final.
K. C. was sold out by his assistant Bernie Bickerstaff and several players who were looking to blame anyone but themselves. Bernie was telling people including NBA referees around the league he was responsible for the Bullets’ winning season, but when they lost to the Warriors he pointed his finger at K. C. Bernie was the worst kind of backstabber, K. C. gave him his first NBA job without any NBA player or coaching experience. K. C. Jones’ problem, he trusted folks around him, he was a winner. He was a confident man, as a high school athlete, college All-American and on to the NBA Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the NFL as a defensive back. He had not played the position since high school. He never saw a wide receiver, shooting guard, college or pro he could not check! He chose the NBA, lucky for Jerry Rice.
K. C. was a secure black man and he trusted those around him–that was his problem with Bernie Bickerstaff, he could not be trusted. During the regular 1974-75 season he allowed Bickerstaff to handle most timeouts and huddle with the team. Bickerstaff used the timeouts to tell friends, family, and NBA referees he was coaching the team.
Bernie successfully backstabbed and kiss enough ass to become a head coach, General manager, head scout and get his son into the league as a head coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers. What price for success?
Abe Pollin the owner got caught up in the BS and Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes didn’t back K. C. Dave Bing a native Washingtonian and NBA Hall of Fame player came back home on the way out of the league, and he continued the backstabbing of K. C. I have known Bing since he was a teenager in NE DC.
I met with Dave in his apartment at the Marlborough House in Hillcrest Heights, Md on his arrival back in DC. Just out of nowhere, he says, “K. C. is overrated as a coach and he is a drunk”! I was floored to hear those words coming out of Dave’s mouth. I jumped right into his ass with both feet. He really pissed me off, I remember saying, “Dave if you feel that way why don’t you have a face to face with K. C. and try to resolve the issue. He has great respect for you.” My advice fell on deaf ears. I should not have been surprised. He and teammate Bob Lanier did a Mutiny on the Bounty and ran NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd out his head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons in 1971.
Bing left the door open for Pollin to fire K. C. and bring in the overrated Dick Motto (he had a losing record as a NBA Coach). Dave claimed Motto wanted him to change his game and he left for the Boston Celtics. He lasted there for a year before retiring. Motto won a NBA Championship with the team K. C. Jones left behind for him.
K. C. was a winner, he won 11 of 12 championships with the Boston Celtics, eight as a player. Red Auerbach gave K. C. a second chance and hired him as an assistant. He won a championship ring as an assistant coach, and two as a head coach. As a player, he is tied for third for most NBA championships in a career. He is one of three players with an 8-0 record in a NBA final series. He is the only black player other than Bill Russel to win multiple NBA championships. On top of all that success, he was a kind and gentle soul, and he was loyal.
Unlike Bing, if K. C. gave you his word you could carry it to the bank. Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports benefited from his participation as a player and coach. I will truly miss my Big brother, he had my back. RIP K. C. you deserve it.
We have a President that does not want to turn over the keys to the White House to the new tenant. There are a bunch of selfish politicians on Capitol Hill on both sides of the isle who are making plans to go on Christmas vacation while American voters lose their homes, businesses, jobs, and lives because they cannot agree on a stimulus package to save them. They are in concert with the pandemic.
It is that time of year again when folks are usually in the giving mode of their lives (December). The poor and down trodden have been ignored from January through November and a guy called Santa Claus is coming to town you think—one place Santa ain’t coming is to the ghetto, especially this year-no one can afford him. The year 2020 will go down as the deadliest in Black American History (only the journey from Africa by boat was more deadly). Santa Claus is caught between a rock and a hard place. He cannot perform his duties of making children happy thanks to Donald Trump and the corona-virus.
Still your television screens will be overrun with promos by billion dollar corporations with pro athletes from MLB, NHL, NFL and the NBA telling you how much they are supporting our community and kids—some do and some don’t. There will be grocery chains, banks, clothing stores and radio and television station personalities asking you to meet them on a designated street corner or at the bank and make a cash or toy donation for the children. This is the 1% asking you to make a donation to them???
They will have you thinking that your cash or toy donation will help to make some family happy with a turkey dinner and toys for tots—thanks for giving? There will be pastors in some churches who will get into the act of pretending that they care. You will be asked to exchange your gun for a gift card to save some child’s life—the brother turning in his ONE gun in all probability has two and a shotgun in his car. The Pimps in the Pulpit will tell the brothers and sisters volunteering to give up their guns and “Don’t worry everything is on the up and up, you don’t have to show ID”! Guess who is there taking your guns and pictures with a camera over here and a camera over there—the cops?
In the meantime, our babies’ blood is flowing in our streets. Last week (Wednesday December 3rd) one year old Carmelo Duncan was shot and killed while riding in a car seat with his father in SE DC. The FBI is offering a $60,000 reward for the shooter, one week later the killer or killers are still nowhere to be found. The reward is the highest to ever be posted for the life of a black child murdered by gun in DC. Don’t expect DC Police Chief Peter Newsham to be in on the manhunt, he has slipped quietly out the backdoor and has taken a new job in Prince William County, Virginia. His credentials for his new job—on his old DC job homicides spiked every year he was the chief! I testified against his confirmation before the city council in 2017 with documents showing he was not fit for the job. He was confirmed 12-1, the only descending vote was that of at-large City Councilman, Dave Grosso. He was the only council person who asked to view my documents. In July when Grosso called for the chief to be fired, Mayor Bowser called Grosso a “Lame Duck”? Calling Grosso a lame duck what did that have to do with the inept and terrible performance of her chief of police?
HIS FAMOUS LAST WORDS!
Outgoing police Chief Peter Newsham said, “Carmelo is the youngest victim of gun violence in D.C. so far this year.
This is an unfathomable tragedy. He added that, for Carmelo’s family, “the only thing that we can do to help solve your pain is trying to find the person or persons who are responsible.”
According to Newsham, there is forensic evidence that more than one gun was used, but officials can’t yet report on how many different types of rounds hit the vehicle.
Newsham also believes that the vehicle — driven by Carmelo’s father, and with a second child on board, neither of whom were injured — was targeted, not part of a random attack.
“I will reiterate what the mayor said with regards to the folks that are responsible for this: You need to come and turn yourself in,” Newsham said. “Because we are going to make every effort and spend as much time as we need to define the person or persons who are responsible.”
A $60,000 reward — through D.C., the FBI and ATF — is being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the suspects in the case.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous tips can be sent to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by text message to 50411.
The NBA-MLB-NHL-and NFL pro athlete reach-back programs were started here in DC in 1968 via Kids In Trouble, Inc. They have since copied the format showcasing some of their biggest stars at food kitchens serving hot turkey dinners, and hosting toy parties for needy children with owners along for the ride!
The problem, they are much like Cinderella, they will disappear at midnight (the new year) and its back to business as usual, they will go into hibernation in their gated communities or homes in the mountains or at some ski resort until the following December. Some athletes will ride off into the sunset like the Washington Wizards’ John Wall thinking he did his due diligence because he shown up at a food kitchen or a toy party for tots. In the meantime, little children will continue to die in our streets.
The Washington Wizards (Bradley Beal), Washington Nationals (James Brown/minority owner), Washington Capitals (Bill Douglas/Neal Henderson) and the Washington Football team (Doug Williams) have all shown little interest in the murders North of Capitol Hill. Each franchise should be able to raise 10,000 from the players and owners to raise the $40,000 dollars to bring the $60,000 to a total reward of $100,000. There are several players who could make the donation and never miss it. This will show that they are making our children first, turkey dinners and toys for tots are not enough and neither are “Spooks That Sat by the Door”.
In 1979-1981 black boys in Atlanta, Georgia were being abducted off the streets and murdered. In May of 1980 no-one had been arrested and charged. I decided to celebrate my May 21st birthday at the Foxtrapp Club as a fundraiser to raise money to assist in finding the murder of those children. The party goers included pro athletes, law-enforcement, politicians, judges and radio and television personalities. They cough-up $5,000.00 for Kids In Trouble, Inc. to send to the Atlanta police department to assist in its investigation of the murders.
Serial killer Wayne Bertram Williams was finally arrested in 1981 for the murder of two black men. He was sentenced to life in imprisonment. Law-enforcement believes he was responsible for at least 23 of 30 murders between 1979-1981. He was never tried for the other murders (mostly children). I have never forgotten.
If you want to know why Harold Bell is the way he is, start with his hero and grandmother Amy Tyler Bell.
“My grandmother use to tell the grands, ‘A lie will change a thousand times. The truth will never change,” Bell said.
“If I leave here today or tomorrow, nobody owes me anything. What I’d like to do is pay back some of the people that have helped me to help others. The naysayers can’t say I stole from kids, did drugs or time in jail.” I was flawed like the next man or woman, but I was taught it was best to live and lead by example.
For five decades, Bell has told the truth as he saw it, on the airwaves and in print in Washington, D.C. He was the first black sports radio talk show host in DC. He has been a free-lance writer for the Afro-American, the New York Amsterdam newspapers, the Washington Post, Washington Times, and the Bleacher Report. He considers the most powerful vehicle in the media is the written ‘Word’.
He regularly calls out SCARED COWS who forgot who they are and where they came from. He honors those in the black community who often don’t get recognition—both sports figures and regular folks.
He has been the host for forums relating to Community Policing and Cops and Kids. He’s honored Ohio State football players, Cornelius Greene, Lenny Willis and Woodrow Roach. He was an advisor to Super Bowl XXII MVP winner, Doug Williams when he first arrived in DC. He honored Gary Mays, a multi-sport athlete in D.C. in the 1950s. Gary guarded high school superstar Elgin Baylor and held him to 18 points (Baylor average 35 pt). Gary was a catcher for Armstrong High School and almost made it to the major leagues despite having only one arm. It was in a major league baseball tryout at old Griffith Stadium home of Major League Baseball’s Washington Senators. He was selected the best player among hundreds would-be major league players. Gary was the only player to hit a homerun out of the stadium. No team offered him a contract or a tryout.
Bell advocated behind the scenes for the release of former University of Maryland basketball star Jo Jo Hunter from prison. Hunter had been convicted in 1997 of robbing two jewelry stores and was sentenced to serve up to 43 years in prison. Bell had several prominent sports stars and other Washingtonians write letters on Hunter’s behalf. He was paroled a summer later after serving eighteen years. Bernard Levi a DC basketball playground legend and NFL legend Jim Brown have also benefited from his social media and letter writing campaigns on their behalf. Bell campaigned for Brown’s early release from jail after charges of spousal abuse in 2007.
It was Harold Bell who campaigned to get NFL All-Pro Willie Wood and NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd inducted into their hall of fames after they were “Blackballed” by their leagues. Willie was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1989 and Earl was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2001.
“I’ve come to know Harold over the years,” says Brian McIntyre, who was the NBA’s longtime Vice President of Communications through 2010. “He’s a guy who’s reached back and touched an awful lot of people’s lives. He’s a fighter. He believes in what he believes dearly, and he’s not going to give an inch. You have to respect somebody who is as passionate as he is.”
For 45 years straight years (1968-2013), he and his wife, Hattie, led Kids in Trouble without grants or loans. The organization went into D.C. neighborhoods where Bell grew up while playing at Spingarn High School. NBA Hall of Fame player and Spingarn alumnus Dave Bing and NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood were the first pro athletes to reach back into the community via Kids In Trouble.
In 1967 there was a shooting after a basketball game between Spingarn and McKinley Tech. A Spingarn student was shot. Dave Bing was a NBA Rookie playing in his first All-Star Game in Baltimore. Bell working with the DC Recreation Department’s Roving Leader Program (Youth Gang Task Force) was assigned to the shooting. There was talk of revenge among the Spingarn students. The quick thinking Bell drove to Baltimore to solicit the help from Spingarn alumnus Bing. After playing in the game on national television on Sunday, Monday morning Bing walked into a Spingarn auditorium and got a standing ovation from the Spingarn student body. His words of wisdom and plea for peace were heard and further violence was averted.
Every reach-back program promoted today by the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL all started with Harold and Hattie Bell in Washington, DC. Thousands of children in the District, Virginia and Maryland (DMV) have benefited from Kids In Trouble, Inc.
During this reach-back experience Bell tried to improve the lives of at-risk youth by using pro athletes and judges as highly visible vehicles in his community programs. During the 1968 riots he walked arm in arm with co-worker NFL Hall of Fame player and Green Bay Packer defensive back Willie Wood. U. S. Marshall Luke C. Moore would join Harold and Willie as they walked arm and arm on the U Street and 14th Street corridors trying to quell the violence and save lives. Luke was the first modern day U. S. Marshall in-Charge since Frederick Douglas.
Harold and Hattie found Kids In Trouble, Inc. and the Hillcrest Saturday Program in 1968 shortly after the riots. The program served neighborhood kids and their families. They gave away Thanksgiving turkeys and were the host for Christmas toy parties. They coordinated the parties for kids that otherwise wouldn’t get any toys. The Washington Football Team players, Roy Jefferson, Larry Brown, Harold McLinton, Ted Vactor, Dave Robinson and Doug Williams have all been Santa’s Helpers. He and his wife have raised money to send kids to summer basketball camps in Winston-Salem, NC, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Kids In Trouble youth were often the guest of the Washington NFL pro football team for games in RFK Stadium.
Hattie and Harold organized tutoring programs and every Saturday a yellow school bus full of white youth from a Maryland suburb (Takoma Park) would arrive on 14th and W Street to tutor the kids. In 1971 they found the only halfway house for juvenile delinquents ever established on a military installation. It was called Bolling Boys Base located on Bolling Air Force Base in SE DC.
He was a multi-sport star athlete at Spingarn. Bell admits he spend many games in the coaches’ ‘Doghouse’ for his selfish play. He says, “My problem, I wanted the ball in my hands when the game was in doubt”.
He opened community centers that had previously been closed on the weekends to neighborhood residents. Washingtonian Magazine named him Washingtonian of the Year in 1980 and called him “A One Man Community Action Program.” He was the first sportscaster to receive the honor from the magazine.
Hattie and Harold have been honored at the White House by President Richard M. Nixon, and cited in the Congressional Record on three different occasions. First, there was Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Bob Dole (R-Kan) and Congressman Walter Fauntroy for their work with at-risk children
He said, “The only reason I’m still standing strong today is because of my high school and college coaches, Dave Brown and Bighouse Gaines. They were there to prevent me from going to hell in a hurry”.
“It was not always financial when it came to helping people, he says. I made decent money as a talk show host, I had some high profile sponsors like the Md. State Lottery, and Coca-Cola for my radio talk shows”.
He was the first Sports and Marketing Rep for Nike and Anheuser Busch in the Nation’s Capitol. He moonlighted on the weekends as a wide receiver playing minor league football. “I tried to keep it real for my young people making sure they went ‘First Class’. I think I’m more proud of that than anything else. When I see my former youth today, it’s still Mr. and Mrs. Bell. They show respect because I never misled them and they remembered I was there during the good and bad times.
Bell says, “a man is only as good as his word and I made my word golden with my young people. Today in the black community a man’s word means very little. I not only talked the talk, I walked the walk”.
Bell and the late Petey Greene were close friends. Petey was a local legend who hosted a highly-rated radio talk show (and, later, television show) on WOL-AM. Bell met Greene while caddying on the weekends at the prestigious Burning Tree Golf Course located in a Maryland suburb. The same golf course he met his friend Vice-President Richard Nixon in 1957. In 1967 Greene would give Bell five minutes of air time on his Sunday show to talk sports on W-O-L radio and President Nixon would give him a Presidential appointment in 1969.
Petey would later tell him to get the hell off his show and get his own, WOL radio personality Bobby Bennett picked him up. Bennett was the No. 1 DJ in the country at the time and was known as The Mighty Burner. “I think Bobby was a closet sportscaster in waiting. We talked sports on Saturday afternoons the show was a big hit,” Bell said.
But a year later, Bell was ready to go it alone with Bennett’s blessings. Station WOOK-AM another black oriented station hired him as a talk show host, allowing him to express his strong opinions with no filter. The show was christened “Inside Sports,” the tag given to him by his wife and is now a part of sports media history.
For much of the next 30 years, Bell held court with a Who’s Who of sports figures. It was his relationships with Muhammad Ali and Red Auerbach that gave him instant credibility.
“Every sports talk show in the country now has a format similar to the original Inside Sports,” Outside the Lines? I was Outside the Lines long before Bob Levy. I was Real Sports before Bryant Gumble” he says.
He says, “I was Out of DC long before NWA (Niggers With Attitudes) was Out of Compton. NWA had to go underground with their music because the FCC would not allow their profanity laced lyrics to be played on radio stations. The FCC had their eyes on me, but their political hands were tied-no profanity!
“I was tackling the tough issues as it related to pro sports, racism, bad agents and bad politicians, when everyone else was just giving the scores, batting averages and telling you how much a player weighed and how tall he was. I played message music when no one dared to play it on talk shows. My music, Wake Up Everybody, What’s Going On, Black & Proud, the Revolution will not be televised, Who killed the Sheriff, etc.
“It was unheard of and now I can appreciate Inside Sports while transferring my old shows from cassette to CD. I can understand why people liked the original Inside Sports talk format. The show had no ‘Cut Card’ and there were no pom-poms and skirts allowed on the show. A media room deadline is still one of the most segregated hours in America, second only to a church on Sunday morning”, he says.
His interviews with Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Red Auerbach, Spencer Haywood, Harry Edwards, Sonny Hill, Don King, Bighouse Gaines and John Chaney were educational classics. He was the host for panel discussion shows with football players on the difficulties they faced after they retired, decades before it became a national issue. He was the first to convene a Media Roundtable with other members of the media. He gave John Thompson and Sugar Ray Leonard their first airtime when they could not buy their way on to a local TV or radio show.
He remembers his friendship with the late Red Auerbach and his wife Dotie they lived in D.C., they treated him and Hattie like family. His biggest regret, he didn’t tell Red about the rumors of drugs before he drafted Len Bias. He says, “I probably could have saved Bias’ life, but I made a mistake and took my street sense over my common sense.”
There are others who have reached back like former NBA referee Lee Jones and Jim Clemons, who played with the ’72 Lakers championship team. Clemons went on to be an assistant coach on the Bulls’ and Lakers’ title teams of the ’90s and 2000s. He said, “I owe them dearly.”
Former player/coach Al Attles of the Golden State Warriors says of Bell is a ‘Good Man’. He does so much trying to help others. He’s good people. We go back a long way. He’s just been outstanding. I grew up in New Jersey and went to school in North Carolina, of course, and moved out to the west coast. But I have always been partial to people who give back to the community. He has done so many good things. I’m a community guy and he always was. It’s not easy. As we get older, and new people come in and do things, I don’t think it’s that people don’t appreciate what you’ve done, it’s just that people move on.”
In 1975, Bell produced and hosted a half-hour sports special on WRC TV 4, the NBC affiliate in Washington. His special guest was Muhammad Ali. It was the first prime time a sports program was produced and hosted by a black man in America.
“I met Ali on the campus of Howard University in 1967, I was a Roving Leader (Youth Gang Task Force) for the DC Department of Recreation & Parks. Ali was there speaking to the students as a part-time comedian and community activist. He was talking about his problems with the draft and being black in America”.
“We hit it off and walked from the campus down Georgia Avenue to 7th& T Streets together. We talked about my working with young people and the challenges I faced. He was really impressed. I turned to see about 40, 50 people walking with us it was like a parade. I didn’t see him again for at least three or four years”, he says.
The late J.D. Bethea a sports writer for the Washington Star was contemplating on writing a story on him, he and Attorney Harry Barnett invited him to ride with them to Cleveland to see Ali fight an exhibition for a Cleveland Children’s Hospital. They didn’t have to ask him a second time. Barnett at the time was representing George Foreman. It was the best car ride ever when Muhammad recognized him during the press conference. He said, “Harold Bell, what are you doing this far away from home?” From that point on their relationship flourished and it was all down hill from there. It was there he became ‘The Chosen One’!
The carat in the relationship came in 1974 after Ali shocked the world when he knocked out big George Foreman in the 8th round. He became the undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world. He had made a promise to Harold in Chicago before leaving for Zaire, Africa. He made fun of him, when he said, “Harold Bell since you are scared to fly over the ocean after I knockout George, I will give you the first interview.”
It was five nights after the fight. On a rainy night in DC Harold’s phone rang around 10 pm, it was Ali keeping his word (unheard of)). It has been four decades plus later and Harold says, “I am still amazed by that call. I was just a nobody trying to be somebody”.
Bell hosted Inside Sports well into the 1990s at different radio stations. He never compromised (he once gave boxing promoter Don King a five-figure check back after he claimed King reneged on his word). A man is only as good as his word and Don’s word has never meant very much, he said.
Harold has chastised those whom he believed didn’t give enough back to the communities from which they came. Players, media, coaches, it didn’t matter: if you were on Bell’s bad side, there was hell to pay. He says, “Radio is a special medium. I enjoyed taking calls from my listening audience (Bell, however, says he never hung up on a caller, and thinks many of today’s radio gabbers are “rude” to their listeners.)
“I discovered early you’ve got to be able to distinguish between constructive criticism and destructive criticism, I knew when people were trying to help me and when they were trying to play me. You always have to consider the source. When Red gave me advice, I knew he wasn’t trying to hurt me. Or when Al Attles pulled me to the side, I knew he was trying to help me.”
Bell is still working. He now has his own weekly Zoom Show every Sunday, Inside Sports Detoxx video show on You Tube, he is the most read and most popular blogger for Black Men in America.com. The website is one of the most popular black websites on the internet, ranked in the top 10 out of over 500 black websites. His collection of star maker interviews are still being developed with the likes of Ali, as well as Red Auerbach, Sam Jones, Al Attles, and Connie Hawkins. In February he will continue to work on his Muhammad Ali documentary to commemorate Black History Month. His work as the historian at D.C.’s iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl restaurant has come to an end. And he’s still telling the truth and calling it like he sees it. Its truth without the he say, she say, the lies that keep our community divided. There will be no hiding behind anonymity on his watch.
“If you know Harold,” McIntyre said, “and if you haven’t had a difference of opinion over something, then I don’t think you know Harold Bell.”
Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in the NBA described Bell best when he said on the late John Thompson ESPN 98O radio sports talk show, “Harold Bell maybe controversial, but I have yet to hear anyone call him a liar.”
Case closed–in 2020 the National Association of Black Journalist honored him with their pioneer award recognizing his media trailblazing efforts. He thought it was “April Fool”!
In 2017 I testified before the DC City Council during the confirmation hearing for now former Police Chief Peter Newsham. He was confirmed and a wasted 4 years of law-enforcement followed. Crime in the city multipliedand poured into Prince Georges County and Virginia.
Councilman Charles Allen conducted the hearings and half of the council were AWOL including Ward 7’s Vincent Gray, Ward 8’s Trayon White, Ward 3’s Mary Cheh, Arnita Bonds At-Large, and Kenyan McDuffie Ward 5. When the votes were counted it was 12-1 for confirmation. Councilman At-Large Charles Grosso was the only one who had the balls to say “No” to the confirmation. He knew Newsham was a corrupt cop because he had enough common sense to use the background information I had given DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Council woman Mary Cheh.
I testified Newsham was not worthy to be Chief of Police in the Nation’s Capitol with his bad history as a cop. It was not like I was bringing a news flash to the council chambers, Fox News TV 5 ran an expose relating to his violent domestic abuse of his wife and girlfriend on the side. They both had him in court before a judge on domestic violence charges.
He is a well known alcoholic (found on aDC street drunk with his gun in his holster). Talking about a cop out of control, Newsham had several of his cronies/go-fers go into the property room of the department and take documents out that were to be use against him in a court of law.
World Bank demonstrators were suing the city and Newsham for abuse by the DC police department in 2002—the lawsuit cost the city in the neighborhood of 15 million dollars.
Inspector Nate Simms was in charge of the property room during that time. He confronted Newsham’s cronies/go-fers who were abusing the system on his behalf. He told them they could no longer take police property out of the property room without signing for it. He refused to be the go along to get along “Spook That Sat by the Door” for Newsham and his band of thieves.
Newsham went to his buddy Chief Cathy Lanier and she removed Inspector Simms from the property room and demoted/busted him back to Captain. He retired.
She was the first cop in the history of the DC Police Department to go from a captail to the chief! Comparable, a captain in the U. S. military receiving a similar promotion to General.
She was appointed by former Mayor Adrian Fenty. It was rumored she received the appointment after she became Fenty’s bodyguard for his domestic abuse. In the meantime, Lanier retired after being offered the job to head security for NFL proving crime does pay.
When I met Nate Simms as young cop he was adapted to Community Policing. We met at the SE White House during Tuesday morning breakfasts. This was a meeting place for community activist and those who needed our support. The breakfast was overseen by former Assistant Police Chief Sammi Morrison. The late Chief Ike Fullwood was a frequent visitor.
I discovered Simms was a straight shooter and we became fast friends. He supported my efforts during my annual Kids In Trouble Christmas toy party for needy children and participated in several of my forums relating to youth gangs and police community relations.
When Chief Cathy Lanier kicked him to the curb we met to talk about his next move to leave the department and what the future held for him. Instead, he provided me with documented proof of dates and times of Newsham transgressions and abuse of power as a law-enforcement officer.
He got a raw deal and he refused to stand on the sidelines and cheer Newsham on as he ran for chief of the department.
I now had to figure out a game plan to derail Newsham’s rise to power as a corrupt/crooked cop. I had to do more than just write and talk about it. I need another avenue to expose him to those in so-called power. Enter, Ben’s Chili Bowl.
I was now the Historian for the World famous eatery. The family was planning on celebrating the founder, Virginia Ali’s birthday and where should they celebrate it? They had just opened a brand new Chili Bowl at 9th and H Streets on the NE corridor. There was hope they could kill two birds with one stone.
First, free publicity for the new eatery and invite the power-brokers to their new home (housewarming). This would be a great venue to see Delegate Eleanor Norton Holmes (a Chili Bowl favorite), Mayor Muriel Bowser and any City Council member, wannabees who might want to be seen.
Several days before the big party I went to my computer and printed out the information that Nate Simms had given me on Newsham’s transgression as a DC cop. I prepared 5 envelopes with all of his background information to pass on to the power-brokers in attendance for the upcoming birthday party.
Jackpot, the eatery was packed (nose to nose). First, I found my wife Hattie a place to sit and then I would start my search to see who was in the house. It was difficult trying to get from one corner of the eatery to the other corner. My struggles were rewarded, Delegate Holmes, Mayor Bowser and City Councilwoman Mary Cheh were all in the house.
I found Hattie something to eat and then I staked out Bowser, Cheh and Holmes waiting for an opportunity to approach them. Bowser had a posse of about three people, Eleanor had one and Cheh was the Lone Ranger without Tonto.
It looked like Eleanor would be easy. She had taken off her shoes and was sitting near Hattie. The two had struck up a conversation and I moved on to check out Bowser. I was patient and waited until almost the end of the celebration. I caught the Mayor eating and I handed her the envelope and told her I would contact her later. I watched her put it in her pocketbook and I moved on to track down Cheh.
I had met her at the funeral of Judge Harry T. Alexander. I was introduced by community activist Al-Malik Farrakan (Cease Fire Don’t Smoke the brothers). I ask Malik as she walked away, “Do you trust her?” He gave me a funny look and said, “Come on man, she was a prosecutor.” Enough said!
She was talking to a constituent when I interrupted it looked like he was going to go on and on. She looked relieved when I handed her the envelope, I said, “I will contact you later” and left her the same way I found her.
When I finally got back to Eleanor, she and Hattie were taking pictures together. I gave her the envelope and she put it in her pocket—mission accomplished.
The confirmation hearing on Newsham was in April at the Wilson Building. I arrived in time to be introduced to Newsham by community activist Leroy Thorpe. Newsham came to me with a song and dance explaining he would appreciate my support and if I ever needed him for anything to give him a call. He then gave me his card and we took our seats.
I spotted former DC cop Lt. Lowell Duckett moving around the perimeter of the hearing. They had run him out of the department because he did not go along to get along. I was surprised when Malik Farrakan whispered in my ear he was there looking for a job with Newsham. Commander Melvin Gresham a veteran on the department was also in attendance showing support for Newsham. He came over to say hello and tell me he knew my brother Bull and what a great cop he was. My brother Sgt. Earl ‘Bull’ Bell faced the Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence for being a good and honest cop.
During the hearings and before my testimony I knew the confirmation hearings were a sham. The decision had already been made to name Newsham the new chief.
I told Councilman Allen I didn’t appreciate them wasting my time when they had already made their decision to hire Newsham. He swore up and down that was not the case. I was not convinced and I cited the evidence I had given DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilwoman Mary Cheh who conveniently was sitting out this segment of the hearing.
When it was all said and done and I was leaving the building, a young lady approached me saying she represented Councilman Charles Grosso. He requested the documentation I had given Norton, Bowser and Cheh. No problem-done deal.
When it was all said and done, the council confirmed the nomination 12-1, the only dissenting vote was cast by Councilman Grosso.
In July 2020 Mayor Muriel Bowser called Grosso a “Lame Duck” for calling for the firing of Chief of Police Peter Newsham? I find this strange since Grosso was the only council person who voted against his confirmation in 2017.In 2020 his vote proved he was right when he said “NO” to his confirmation.
Evidently, he used my documentation to reach his final conclusion, but he has since become a deaf mute on how he reached that decision. I guess you would call it politics!Community advocate Leroy Thorpe said, “I am not surprised he didn’t reach out to you. I find him to be a very ungrateful politician, he is all about Grosso”.
Looking at Nesham’s job performance for past three years he needs to be fired. For example; Crimes including homicides have gone up every year since he has been chief. It was Bowser according to the Washington Post who conspired with the chief to “Stop and Frisk” New York City style. Cops profiled and ticket blacks overwhelmingly in a city that is now 50-50 as it relates to black and white folks—they can no longer lean on “Chocolate City”. See link below.
Mayor Muriel Bowser lost a lot credibility for supporting the “Stop and Frisk” act in DC that targeted black citizens. She sold the black community out.
My “Deep Throat” in the DC government whispered tome that the City Council put pressure on Mayor Bowser to get rid of Newsham. His erratic police behavior was costing the city too much money and his run–in with City Council members was not helping. Bowser then gave Newsham the 411 to resign or be fired. Newsham immediately started looking for another job or a way out with his pride intact and Prince William County answered the call.This was a step down from chief of police in Washington, DC theNation’s Capitol and stronghold of political power to the chief of police in (Mayberry) Prince William County, Virginia.
It was difficult for me to believe, I gave three minority women information relating to a cop seeking the office of chief of police in the nation’s capitol who has a domestic violence history and they still give him a pass to be chief!
It all comes down to are women politicians just as corrupt and selfish as men? In 1968 Black male Mayors did absolutely nothing after we were forewarned (Kerner Report) that America was headed for two different societies, one black and one white. Here we are 52 years later hustling backwards!
This brings me to a difficult crossroads we are now facing in the District, Maryland and Virginia (DMV). Talking about being caught between a “Rock and a Hard place”!
There are three women in the DMV that now have their hands on the trigger to help start a new trend in Community Policing when it comes to changing the culture of policing in America.
We often hear cops saying, “Its us against them”? They forget they were not drafted into the job-they volunteered. Our tax dollars pay their salaries and if it is too hot in the kitchen-get out!
I know of no one I am connected to in the struggle is talking about defunding or dismantling police departments. The people I know are talking about better training and community policing. For example, adding armed social service advocates to the department’s payroll to address calls when it comes to domestic violence and mental health issues.
This will allow officers to stand back and stand off until these advocates arrive to address the issue. There are times when circumstances will not allow this procedure to manifest. A outside advocacy group will determine whether the act ofusing their weapon was justified. Police policing themselves can no longer be tolerated. Limited immunity has to be taken off the books, I cringe everytime I think of Newsham heading the Internal Affairs Department.
Newsham is carrying his racist police practices to Prince William County, Virginia. DC now has no chief and Prince Georges County still has no chief after firing their racist chief Hank Stawinski in July. This guy much like Newsham was poison to the department. Newsham had31 years and Stawinski had 27 years to spread their racist ideology among their officers.Change is not coming easy.
During Newsham’s 31 years read like a fictional movie. Domestic violence with both black and white women, a known alcoholic, he was a bully with a badge and gun, found drunk on a DC street corner with his gun in his holster, stealing evidence out of property room, costing the city millions of dollars for wrongful arrest and abuseduring World Bank protest in 2002 and DC is expected to pay out millions more for the abuse on Black Lives Matter Plaza peaceful protesters last month. He now carries his show on the road to Prince William County, Virginia—too close for me.
Stawinski on his 27 year watch witness up close one of the most brutal and racist police departments in America. Cops were scare of their own colleagues. Several appeared on television in hoods to hide their identy and discuss racism in the department. There were vigilante acts carried out, one of the most memorable was a young man found hung in his jail cell in 2007 after he was arrested for hit and run killing a county police officer. The sad part black folks were in charge, County Executive, Jack Johnson (now ex-con), Chief of Police Melvin High (now county sheriff), States Attorney Glenn Ivey (now an expert on the criminal justice system as seen on TV) the trial judge, Federal Judge, Alex Williams. The killers are still free.
There have been several lawsuits filed against the department by Black and now Hispanic officers citing racism. In September the county paid a black family 20 million dollars for a wrongful death by a police officer. The officer shot and killed a man in custody handcuffed in a police vehicle.
Checkout the reasons why Prince William County Board of Supervisor chair Ann Wheeler is welcoming Newsham with open arms. She said, “We have a wonderful police department right now, but we can always get better. Newsham with his experienced after so many years of running a large police department, we felt he could bring those techniques of racism and brutality here and definitely benefit us.
Newsham’s during his tenure allowed black children and men to be gunned down in our streets without any concern, for three straight years crime in our streets got higher and higher. It is clear why he is headed to Prince William County as its next chief of police. They are expecting more of the same.
If you need an interpreter to understand what she is saying, you are a part of the problem.
It took me 45 years to get my exclusive one on one interview with Muhammad Ali to the big screen. November 23rd marked the 1st anniversary for the debut November 23, 2019 at the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. On October 30, 1974 Muhammad Ali shocked the world when he knocked out the undisputed and undefeated 25 year-old George Foreman to become the heavyweight champion for second time. This was just his first shock.
Ali saved his second shock for his arrival back in the United States. Ali’s first call for an exclusive one on one interview was not to Ed Bradley (60 Minutes) not Bryant Gumble (NBC) and not Howard Cosell (ABC).
He made his first call to a little unknown sports talk show host in Washington, DC. He made Harold Bell “The Chosen One”. My show was heard on gospel W-U-S-T radio. Ali shocked the sports media again, but this time he didn’t change his name, he change his favorite sportscaster.
I would like to take this opportunity and thank those of you who made this great interview on the screen of the Miracle Theatre with “The Greatest” possible. First, my wife Hattie (we will also celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary on Monday), Rahman Ali, Rodney Brown and Wil Williams. Judge Luke Moore, John ‘Turk’ Edwards, Andrew Johnson, Lucy and Junebug Reamer, Keith and Dotie Wade, Furman Marshall, Lee Jones, Willie Wood, Roy Jefferson, George Nock, Marc Clarke, Maggie Linton, Jackie Jones, James Young, Gary Johnson, James and Carolyn Blount (About Time Magazine), Johnny Sample, Jim Clemons, Chuck Atkins, Don Baker, Larry Law, Harold Burke, Harry Horton, Victor Perry, Juliet Main, Ernest Clover, the No Name Band, Robin Sugar Williams, Shaza, Phila. Jake, Dog Turner, Zack, Slippery Jackson, Cornell Jones, Nook Williams, and cast of hundreds of others who lifted me up and refuse to let me fall.
I celebrate with a heavy heart that aches as we head into the Thanksgiving holidays 2020 it will also mark the deadliest year in the history of Black America. First, let me start with the deadly coronavirus it has killed close 260,000 Americans making it the most dangerous virus in American history, to complicate matters for Black America, driving or walking while black has made unarmed black men, women and children targets for racist cops in racist police departments across America.
Nearly 250 black women have been fatally shot by a cop since 2015. In 2020 one in every 1,000 black men in America can expect to be killed by police.
The risk of being or being killed by a cop peaks between the ages of 20 and 35 for black men, women and for all racial and ethnic groups. Black men and women are signifcantly more likely than white women and white men to be killed by a cop. Latino men are also more likely to be killed by a cop.
American Indian and Alaska native women and men face higher lifetime risk of being killed by police than do their white peers. One study found that Latina women and Asian Pacific Islander men face lower risk of being killedby police than do their white peers. The risk is higher for blackmen. For young men of color police use of force is among the leading causes of death.
Sadly, the trend of fatal police shootings in the U. S. seems to only be increasing, with a total 809 civilians having been shot to death as of October 2020, 157 of were black. In 2018, there were 996 fatal police shootings and in 2019 this figure increased to 1,004. Additionally the rate of fatal police shootings among black men America was much higher than for any other ethnic group. For blacks the fatal shootings stood at 32 shootings per million as of October 2020. Whites fatally shot to death by cops in October 2020 compared to blacks shot to death by cops reads, whites 311, blacks 157.
The white population as compared to the black population, whites out number blacks 2-1. With Trump adding 200+ white Federal Judges to benches making America again Justice & Just-Us. Add unemployment, inadequate health care and schools lacking equal education for our children will make an “Even Playing Field” almost impossible to find.
During my lifetime I have never experienced losing so many love ones, friends and associates dying in the same calendar year. This year has been especially difficult for family, my cousin Tommy lost his son and wife in the last two-months, my wife’s cousin Richard lost his wife of 52+ years.
I have lost several friends this year who were NFL Hall of Famers, three of them played for the same team, the Green Bay Packers. Willie Wood died in February, he is considered one of the greatest safeties to ever play in the NFL, his teammate Herb Adderly died in October. Herb was a shutdown cornerback for the Packers and Dallas Cowboys, and Paul Hornung died November13, 2020. Long before Dion Sanders famously split time between the NFL and Major League Baseball, Paul Hornung pulled off the ultimate double-duty: serving in the Army reserved during the week and suiting up for the 1961 Green Bay Packers on the weekends.
If anyone ever tells you sports and politics don’t mix, just remind them that President John F. Kennedy signed off on Hornung to play for the Green Bay Packers on weekends in 1961. Paul helped the Packers win their first Super Bowl, he scored 19 of the Packers 37 points when they shutout the New York Giants 37-0. Honung was known as the Golden Boy because of his good looks and his curly blond hair. He was a playboy and lady’s man, a champion, a broadcaster, a philanthropist and a high stakes gambler (he was suspended by the NFL for betting on his team to win in 1963).
He had a diverse range of pursuits, to be sure — but he will be most remembered for his versatility within the sport. He was beyond a triple threat he could run, pass, catch and kick. He was one of legends that was heard on my Inside Sports talk shows after his NFL career was over.
I met Paul through his teammate and my life time friend Willie Wood, Hornung and Herb became regulars on on my sports talk show Inside Sports long after their careers were over. I last saw and talked with Paul at a tribute and fundraiser I coordinated in 2007 for Willie. He died in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of 84 on November 13th after a long battle with dementia. All three Packer stars died as a result of dementia.
The great NFL Hall of Fame Line Backer Sam Huff was also in attendance for the tribute. He also now suffers from dementia. Lets keep Sam and the families of Willie Wood, Herb Adderly and Paul Hornung all in prayer.
I thank them for their Hall of Fame contributions not to just the NFL, but also their Hall of Fame reach-back efforts to enhance the growth and development of those less fortunate than themselves. They are gone, but not forgotten.
A TRIBUTE TO THE ARTIST & MAN GEORGE NOCK
In the wee hours of Saturday morning I received an email from my friend Professor Jackie Jones of Morgan State University. Her email said, my brother in the struggle and former NFL running back for the New York Jets and the Washington Football team George Nock had died of the coronavirus.
Mourning the Passing of a Beloved Morgan Alumnus George Nock November 22, 2020
Dear Morgan Community,
Earlier today, I learned of the passing of George Nock class of 1969 graduate of Morgan State University. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Mary, and the entire Nock family on their loss. Morgan held a special place in George’s heart and the feeling was mutual. I was fortunate to have gotten to know him personally and considered him a good friend. I accompanied him and members of the 1966 “Golden Bears” Football team when they were recognized during the 2015 Citrus Bowl. It was an extremely emotional experience for George and his teammates for not only what they were able to accomplish on the field but for also what they were able to accomplish culturally by integrating America’s collegiate Bowl system with their appearance in the Tangerine Bowl. It was also an emotional experience for me to see them relieving those memories.
Upon graduating from Morgan, George Nock went onto play in the National Football League before settling on a successful career as an artist and sculptor. George was generous in volunteering his artistic services in memorializing two legendary figures in Morgan’s history – coaches Edward P. (“Eddie”) Hurt and Earl C. (“Papa Bear”) Banks. In 2017, Morgan unveiled Legends Plaza, a nearly 2,000-square-foot enclosure featuring six-foot bronze statues of the two legendary coaches, all of which was designed and created according to George’s artistic vision. George Nock will be missed as the Morgan Community collectively mourns his passing. He was a very good man, an outstanding Morganite, and his work will live on at his alma mater.
David Kwabena Wilson,
President Morgan State University
George Nock had my back in everything community, celebrity fashions (model), Santa’s helper (Christmas toy parties), Thanksgiving baskets, celebrity tennis tournaments, speaker for school outings, when I was named Washingtonian of the Year in 1980 he was there, etc. I emailed the link to the National Black Journalist 2020 pioneer award I received in September thanking him for making this all possible, but I never received a response. I now understand why. https://www.bigmarker.com/nabj/NABJ-Sam-Lacy-Awards-Program?bmid=99ea2ef240f2 /
When my high school coach decided to retire I made up my mind to pay tribute thanking him for saving so many us who were trying to go to hell in a hurry, before he stepped in and shown us a better way. It was tuff love sometimes, but it was love. I asked George to create a painting to be presented to Coach Brown from his former athletes. Several days George called asking me to provide him with photos of the athletes I wanted in the painting. Two days later he had the painting ready for the presentation. It was a knockout!
He was an unbelievable human being. You could carry his word to the bank. My brother-in-law Reggie Thomas when he heard that George had gone home to be with the Lord said, “He was a better artist then he was an athlete.” I disagreed only because an injury had cut his NFL career with the Washington Football team short. I thought again what Reggie had said and I agreed with him. I could only think about the great athlete he could have become, but I was an eye-witness to the great artist and human being he became. My brother in the struggle, he is gone but not forgotten. I never could have made it without him.
Judge Moore introduces members of the the team during Kids In Trouble annual Christmas toy drive at the Foxtrappe Club. L-R HB-Roy Jefferson (NFL)-Judge Ted Newman and Judge Henry Kennedy, Jr.
We are still looking for love in all the wrong places. As we wait for the count and the courts to decide the next President of the United States—who we know will be Joe Binden. In the meantime, Donald Trump has pulled the wool over the eyes of Black America—despite his lost, the criminal justice system will continue to be JUSTICE & JUST-US. Thanks to Donald Trump, his appointing 200+ all white federal judges to life time appointments–plus the two he put on the Supreme Court. You can add our go along to get along favorite uncle to the mix, Clarence Thomas. He will help make “White America Great Again!”
These appointments have put our children in a hole so deep, they will never see daylight or justice in their lifetime. There is nothing that Joe Binden or Kamala Harris can do about it.
I thank God that in my life time I had local help in the DC Superior Court. There were judges like, Luke C. Moore, Harry T. Alexander, Eugene Hamilton, Ted Newman, Henry Kennedy, Jr., Paul Webber and Chief Judge Harold Greene sitting on the bench. In the 70s and 80s, they help me keep hope alive and enhance the growth of hundreds of black children.
Thanks to Luke I had access like no one else in the community. He made sure that my kids and friends received a fair shake when they appeared in the DC Superior Court, especially, when they were on the right side of the law.
Judge Harry T. Alexander made it clear to all cops and lawyers appearing in his courtroom they were to address all defendants male and female as Mr. and Mrs. I was in his court for one trial when a redneck cop kept addressing a defendant as BOY, Judge Alexander bang his gavel on the courtroom desk and said, “Case dismissed-mistaken ID!” People in the courtroom both black and white stood and applauded.
I also remember I had to stop going in Judge Luke Moore’s courtroom. He would see me and stop the proceedings and send the bailiff to come and get me. I would look up and see this brother headed in my direction. He asked, “Are you Harold Bell? And I said, ‘yes’ and he said, ‘follow me’. I followed him to the bench and Luke leans over and whispers ‘is everything alright’ and I said, ‘yes I was just stopping by to say hello but you were not in your chambers’. He said, ‘I am running a little late, sit over there and we can go to lunch I will be through here in a few minutes’. It was another hour!
You did not just see these judges only in a courtroom. You could find them at my Christmas toy parties, celebrity tennis tournaments, celebrity fashion shows and other Kids in trouble community outings. And several of them appeared as my guest on my sports talk show “Inside Sports!” Judge Henry Kenney, Jr. (one of the area’s great amature tennis players), likes to tell the story of how he met his wife at one of my Celebrity Fashion shows in the 80s. They are still married today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkafk63frbg/Judge
Politicians, law-enforcement, pro athletes, and media personalities all would follow Lukes lead in support of my community endeavors. In our community there are always going to be ‘Snakes in the Grass’ avoid them by staying out of high grass.
I remember having a close encounter with one of my favorite judges who was sitting on the bench back in the day. This encounter took place while I was hosting the Ohio State tribute at the Shorham Hotel in downtown DC. Thanks to Luke and DC’s first black police chief Bertell Jefferson, we kissed and made up.
The local student/athletes whom I was honoring played for the Ohio State football team, Cornelius Greene, Lenny Willis and Woodrow Roach (another story). They were home town athletes who had success as student/athletes at the school. They played in several Rose Bowl games and more important they graduated.
The local media much like today surpress our history and our success stories with a little help from “Spooks who Sit by the Door”. They pay little or no attention to our accomplishments.
There was legendary head coach, Woody Hayes and the equally famous two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin. They were household names and left little newspaper space for Greene, Willis and Roach. This was a huge undertaking for me so I sought the advice of my friend, Judge Moore. He loved the idea and said “lets do it” and it happen. I find it amazing in these times Ken Burns a white man has taken the lead when it comes to documenting our history–he has never walked in our shoes!
In 1968 the Kerner Commission appointed by President Lyndon Baines Johnson asked Governor Otto Kerner (D-lll) to head a commission to investigate why were there so many disturbances taking place in our inner-cities. He wanted to know what was causing this unrest in the black communities around the country? Kerner reported back to President Johnson in November 1968 and his report read, “America is headed for two different societies, one black and one white, separate and unequal”. We were forewarned!
Kerner laid the blame for the riots at the doorstep of White America and its systemic racism. President Johnson after reading the report it is rumored he locked the door to the Oval Office and got drunk. In the meantime, Black leaders sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing. They were still looking for the 40 acres and mule.
The only exception were the judges at the DC Superior Court led by Luke C. Moore. After the riots they joined me in the community and made every effort to enhance the growth of the black community by reaching back to enhanced the growth of our children. Any chances of further growth is slim and none. Trump has set-up a Road Block–the Federal Courts with a little help from the Supreme Court.
I greatly appreciated that Judge Moore had my back for the tribute. He pulled the right strings to get the hotel and he convinced, Congressman Walter Fauntroy and several other judges to join us in the venture.
I asked my partner TV-4 anchorman and my anchor in all things ‘Community’ Jim Vance to co-host the tribute with me. The tribute was a huge success.
Trump saved his biggest laugh for last. His last nominee to the Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in at the White House and she was sworn-in by guess who? Would you believe our favorite uncle, Clarence Thomas!
As we head into the unknown in 2021 has anyone seen my old friends Luke, Harry, Paul , Ted, Henry and Gene, I wonder where have they all gone?
This blog is based on a story of a young man by the name of Bernie Culbreth, I found him and lost him at the same time.
IN THE LOCKER ROOM: LOOKING BACK!
This story was written in the Afro-American Newspaper sometime in the early 70s. The story line: A young high school student/athlete who was trying to go to hell in a hurry (sounds familiar). Sports columnist Gary Lindsey was the author of this story. Gary was a sportswriter for the Afro.
His account is as follows:
Even if I hate to admit it after dwelling for sometime in the cold world of sports reporting whenever I come across a shattered locker room that has been rebuilt, I always have to tell the story.
This almost tragic event got its origin in the halls of Cardozo High School. Which for sometime had become a hot bed of controversy. Going to waste both scholastically and athletically was a wayward student by the name of Benjamin Culbreth, who seem unable to adjust to the policies set forth by the school administration. His was a common problem that is shared by many youngsters living under trying conditions that have a way of affecting one’s personality and generally well being. Bernie, as is his middle name, by which most refer to him, spent his 9 to 3 in the street instead of the classroom.
His almost every day attendance on the outside of Cardozo, soon resulted in his being suspended for absenteeism. However, Culbreth was’t just an ordinary youth who found things more to his liking elsewhere than the text book. He was an intelligent sort who held a low B average when he did show up for class. He also possessed one of the most accurate shooting eyes in the Public Schools. Cutbreth, unfortunately, with all this going for him never played a second of basketball for Cardozo. As a matter of fact he never returned to the institution although his teachers had petitioned him back.
He said, “I didn’t go back because I felt that those who didn’t want me would be watching every move I made hoping I would slip up. It was too much pressure for me.” Culbreth transferred to Bell Vocational in his junior year and led the Vocats to a third place finish while being selected to the All-Met Basketball Team.
One season later the nomatic athlete was off again to greener pastures at Pallotti High School and it independent govern program in Laurel, Md. Bernie said, ” They would not let me play anymore in the inter-high because my age eligibility had run out.” The transition from a school leaning toward job skills to one of a high academic standard was not easy at first. But Culbreth had already shown his true aptitude in a summer program called Upward Bound held at the University of Maryland.
In doing a complete about face, Culbreth quickly took over the scoring reigns of the league and was named MVP and led the school to its first winning season. He was grateful for the second chance that Pattotti offered him to make good in life. But he does not fool himself when he looks back at it all in his senior year to a friend he met on the streets of DC. He says, “Man I am going to tell you, if it had not been for Harold Bell I probably would not be where I am today.” I didn’t have the money to go to school and neither did my mother. I don’t have to worry about that now because he has helped me there to.”
With Bell’s support coupled with a sufficient degree of his own, Culbreth has a fairly secure future in the classroom these days. He has been offered scholarships to schools such as Colorado State, Southwest Missouri, American University, Howard University and Winston-Salem State & Bighouse Gaines (Bell’s alma mater). Culbreth, also won’t be missing any more classes. As a matter of fact he is not missing much of anything. He closed his cloudy high school career with a scoring average of 26.5 points a game for the school year.
Editor’s Note: Our life stories were eerie similar except I could only dream of a B average and a great jump shot. Bernie Culbreth’s story brings to mind Johnny Lloyd one of my young kids at Anacostia High School. There was Johnny Robinson and Stacy Robinson (no kin) were particpants at my Hillcrest Saturday Program. Stacy went on to become a high school and playground basketball legend in DC. Johnny Lloyd was trying to hell in a hurry. My high school coach Dave Brown called me and said “I have your twin over here. I need your help.” Lloyd was a high strung athlete with an ego as big as the ball he bounced around on the court.
With athletes like him, the only way to get his attention was to challenge them one on one. I teamed up with his mother and I shown up at his home one morning. She fixed us some breakfast and we walked to Anacostia Park his homecourt in the hood. I sucked him in by warming up with my left hand. I never let him see I was really right-handed. He took the bait and challenged me to a game. He had just scored 25 points against Eastern the day before and he was smelling himself.
First, I shut him down by making his deadly jump shot non-essential. He beat me to the basket several times on his quickness, but it was not enough to win. I kicked his ass good–several of his boys were eye witnesses. He begged me to play another game–never again. I now had his undivided attention.
Coach Brown would later ask me what did I do to get his attention and I told him. He laughed and said, “Lloyd’s whole attitude has changed. He has become more of a team player and his teachers claimed he had become a more thoughtful student. His grades were good enought for American University to offer him a full scholarship.
Johnny Lloyd got his act together and graduated from American University. He left the inner-city and he is now living up in the mountains in Ashville, NC. Lets keep it moving. In Suitland, Maryland there is a young man name Robert Glenn who lives on Luci Lane across the street from my late mother-in-law Elease Thomas. He had a basketball hoop attached to his garage door. We would see him in the evenings shooting hoops with his multi-colored basketball.
I would often tease him, asking him, “boy do you really know what you are doing with that ball?” He would just smile and laugh. There were times he would have several friends playing with him–he was unstoppable. One evening Hattie walked over to one of his games while I sat on the steps and watched.
She came back and told me she had asked, “Who was in charge and the best player?” Little Robert immediately stepped forward and said, “I am” and no one challenged him. We both laughed and I said, “I think Robert is tripping”.
One week later I am sitting on the front porch watching him shooting hoops all by himself and I walk over to join him. After about 10 minutes of shooting around with my left-hand (Johnny Lloyd), he says, “Mr. Bell, do you know anything about this game”? I smiled and said, “A little bit!”
He challenges me to a one on one–no layups allowed. I think he thought this was his homecourt advantage. He even gave me the ball to take out first. I was somewhere in my 70s around that time. I decided the first one to score 10 baskets would be declared the winner, but he wanted 15 baskets, I said, “no way”!
Hattie was now watching from the front porch and yelled, “I hope I don’t have to call 911!” I was making jumpers from the sidewalk and when he got the ball I was blocking everything he tried to shoot. The final score 10-2. Everytime he saw he would ask for a re-match, but it never happen.
I lost Robert somewhere between high school (Bishop McNamara in PG County) and Morehouse College in Atlanta. My mother-in-law had come down with dementia and she went home to be with the Lord in 2015.
The summer of 2019 Hattie and I decided to ride over to Luci Lane to check on my brother-in-law Charles and his daughter Perri. It was a bright su shiny day and we spotted Robert and his parents sitting on their front porch. We waved hello and rode down to the circle only to discover no one was home at my brother-inlaw’s. I turned around and started back out. Hattie ask me to stop so that she could say hello to Robert and his family.
I pulled over to the curve and made a call on my cell while she visited with the Glenns. Several minutes later to my surprise Robert was standing in front of me smiling from ear to ear. I said, “What’s up little man what are you doing now?”
The next words out of his mouth were, “I will be graduating from Moorehouse in February. I am a part of the 2019 class whose student debts have been paid off, thanks to philantropist Mr. Robert Smith.
I remember saying, “Congratulations”. His next words brought a bigger smile to my face when he said, “Mr. Bell thanks for always being a role model for me!” Hattie returned to the car and she was wearing this big smile. Her first words were, “Did Robert tell you he is in the 2019 graduating class at Moorehouse that just had their student debt paid off?”
Hattie is an educator and has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education from Indiana University. She taught at Bennet College in Greensboro, NC before settling in the DMV in 1967. She was so happy you would have thought Robert was one of her students. His words to me were both inspiring and uplifting, which proves, you never know who is watching–big brother or little brother–PRICELESS!
Let me introduce you to Hillcrest Saturday Program, Harrison Playground and Kids In Trouble benefactor, William Butler III. aka ‘Poochie’. He later became an entrepreneur businessman. He landed a job in the corporate world with Washington Football owner, Dan Snyder. He own Snyder Communications, before the Washington football team.
In November 2019 I invited Poochie, Nelvie and Prince to be my guest at the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill in NE DC. It was for the debut of my documentary trailer “Muhammad Ali & Me!” Along with others who were a part of the Kids In Trouble saga, he was invited to come on the stage to say a few words. My 100 years-young aunt Elaine, vocalist Robin Sugar Williams, Poochie and Prince and the late Daryl Pennington who read a Proclamation from Congressman Steny Hoyer were the highlights of the program.
Today Poochie can be found in a Virginia suburb married to his lovely wife Nelvie and a proud father and grandfather. His latest parental enterprise is his only son. Prince a student/athlete at Hayfield High School and member of the football team. He excells and plays the position of Line Backer, defensive end and defensive back like he owns them. He is also an excellent special teams player. I watched video of several of his games in 2019, he is fearless and loves to hit!
On my birthday May 21, 2019, Poochie and Nelvie invited me and Hattie to their home for a birthday lunch. We took a tour of their home and they surprised me with a new HP laptop. Talking about a happy birthday!
Prince has been recruited by Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Alabama among others. Did I forget to mention that he is also an excellent student?
Despite the recent convid 19 outbreak and the Virginia high school football season looking and sounding like it has been cancelled, Alabama Coach Lou Saban didn’t let any grass grow under his feet, after a 2019 visit he picked Prince as one of his top recruits for the 2021 crimson tide football season.
If anyone knows how to contact Gary Lindsey or Bernie Culbreth ask them to call me at 240-334-7174.
The wait for Donald Trump to clear the White House and turn over the keys to the new elected tenant, Joe Binden is coming to an end. In the meantime, there is an important race in Georgia for two seats to determine who will control the Senate, Republicans or Democrats!
There has been a lot of talk about the party of the Black America—should it be the Republican party or the Democratic party? Where do and who do we turn to help insure the 40 acres and a mule and an “Even Playing Field” will finally become a reality in Black America?
The promised was made to blacks in January 1, 1863 via the Emancipation Proclamation. For over 400+ years neither party has been able to deliver on those promises.
This scenario takes me back to the late 90s when J. C. Watts was one of two Black Republicans in the Senate. As a member of the Republican Party J. C. knew how to hold them and he knew when to fold them. He was an outstanding college QB with the University of Oklahoma, as an athlete and politician he ran against the wind. He was a black QB and a black Republican. Neither were in demand by white America in the 70s and 80s.
J. C. Watts was the first black QB in Oklahoma University football history. I recently read somewhere that he was not considered one of the school’s Top Ten QB (Bleacher Report). Check the record books and see how many University of Oklahoma quarterbacks have won back to back bowl games in the history of the school. He was named the MVP both years.
In 1979 the team was 11-1, in 1980 J. C. had a ‘off-year’ and they were 10-2. Oklahoma were underdogs both years he led them to the Orange Bowl, still he led them to victory. His two year career stats read, 1, 953 yards passing, 8 touchdowns, 19 interceptions, and he rushed for 1, 449 yards. He may not make you forget Patrick MaHomes or Russell Wilson, but the bottom line like them, he was a winner.
J. C. was drafted by the NFL New York Jets but they also denied to let him earn a roster spot on the team as a quarterback. He decided to take his game to the Canadian Football League. He played in the league from 1981 until 1986. After calling it quits in the CFL he made his way back home to Oklahoma and became a youth minister in Del City, Oklahoma. He was ordained in 1991.
He had to supplement his ministrial income by starting his own highway construction company. The government regulated controled highway commission kept interferring with his work. Their interference drove him to get involved with politics. Local politics carried him all the way to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The only surprise, he rode into DC as a Republican.
His freshman year was 1995 when he took the oath of office. He quickly became one of the party’s most visible spokesman rising to the position of Conference Chair.
J. C. became the 4th highest ranking Republican in the house. He had an off and on relationship with party leaders. He was nobodys’ YES MAN. In an interview I had with him in his Capitol Hill office in 1998, he kept going back to his roots and where he came from. Black athletes were not his heroes. His HEROES sat across the table from him every morning and evening—his mother and father. https://youtu.be/xrxeVVRbyzk
His mother Darlene was a homemaker and raised 6 children. His father Julius Caesar Watts was a police officer, a businessman, and a minister. His father also served on the city council along with his brother Wade. They were active in the Democratic Party and were members of the NAACP. Wade headed the Oklahoma branch for 16 years.
There were many FIRST in the life of J.C. Watts. He was one of the first black children to attend a previously all white elementary school in his hometown. In high school he was the first black QB for his football team, despite the early protest of his teammates and teachers. In 1979 he became the first black QB at the University of Oklohama after being denied time and time again. There were times when he quit, but his father made him return and he persevered. He led the Sooners to two straight Orange Bowl victories.
He was drafted by the NFL New York Jets in 1981, but they denied him a place on the roster as a QB, his favorite position. He took his football talents to the Canadian Football league and played there from 1981 to 1986. He then returned home to become a youth minister at Sunnydale Baptist church in Del City, Oklahoma.
He was ordained in 1993. He had to supplement his ministerial income with his own highway construction company. He did not like the politics of the government commission regulating his business. This gave him thoughts of running for office and making that run as a Republican, despite the familys long standing in the Democratic Party. He remembered his father saying, “A black man voting for a Republican made as much sense as a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders!” He switched allegiance anyway to the Republican Party. The switch carried him all the way to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
With J. C. coming aboard the Republican Party now had two black faces in the House with Gary Franks from Connecticut. The party hoped the two would court other blacks. Blacks voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats in national elections. They were in for a surprise along with the Democrats. J. C. never joined the Congressional Black Caucus during his term on The Hill. He said, “I think the Congressional Black Caucus and I want the same thing for blacks, the difference is how do we get there”.
He often reminded the naysayers, “My father raised me to be a man, not just a black man”. When the Republican party was trying to eliminate affirmative action from the books—it was J. C. Watts who convinced Newt Gingrich to kill the bill in the house.
Unlike Tim Scott (R-SC) J. C. did not go a long to get along. The proverbial “Glass Ceiling” was a little too high for him. He said, “NO MAS” to re-election and left the Republic Party in 2003 to continue to do it his way. htt
J.C. said, “I don’t want a black version of Fox News, CNN or MSNBC. the Black News Channel aims to fill the gap between African American interest channels and mainstream cable news networks.”
“If you look at the TV dial, you can go anywhere and get news and information for any demographic that you want,” Watts says. “Gay, straight, yellow, brown, white, female, male. But there’s nowhere on the news dial or the channel lineup of the 200-plus stations that you can go and get news and information from the African American community. So we think we’re filling a niche for an underserved, underrepresented community and we think we’re the venue to give the African American community a voice.”
Hopefully, it is here we can write and tell our stories with folks who have actually walked in our shoes–the BNC network is news we can use!
Harold Bell is a youth advocate and pioneer in radio and television sports talk shows. His Inside Sports talk format changed the way we talk sports in America and around the globe. The National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) honored him with their 2020 pioneer award.
Meet the two most dangerous men in Black America, Mitch and Lindsey.
I read somewhere that on Jan 20th of 2021, Joe Biden will become officially the president of the United States. And after the inaugural balls are over, he will take off his tuxedo, put on orange jumpsuit and check into a prison where the wardens will be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham. These guys are two of the Proud Boys and Good Old Boys on “Plantation Hill” aka Capitol Hill!
With them in control of the senate a change ain’t coming no matter who sings the song Sam Cooke or Jennifer Hudson.
While we waited beyond November 3rd for the decision on who will be the President for our Thanksgiving,our wedding anniversary, Christmas and the New Year 2021, these two politicians are now the most dangerous men in DC. They are in Washington as I write planning to wreak havocon black folks and whomever else gets in their wayto keep America from going white. Trump has claimed voter fraud now that it looks like the end is near, Graham donated $500, 000 for his going away partyto keep the confusion going.
With Graham and Mitchell in charge of the Senate, the country will be more dangerously divided then ever–keeping it real!
It will make no difference whether Donald Trump or Joe Binden is declared the winner. McConnell and Graham will be giving each other high fives as soon as the winner is declared.
These two are what is wrong with America, when it comes to talking out of both sides of their mouths no one does it better. They will tell a lie and look you or any television camera straight in their lens/eyes and deny they ever said it despite the video tape rolling—much like the copsin America!
McConnell and Graham will be front and center in their efforts to make America white again and they will be there to derail any efforts by the Democrats to provide an “Even Playing Field” that has yet to be achieved by either party since 1865. This was the year when the Emancipation Proclamation was written to free the slaves!
For Democrats and Republicans who might want to cross the aisle, you will have a better chance to get Trump and Obama to double date.
When everyday folks and politicians start a conversation as to what President has done more to help black America, it often starts with Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, or was it Donald Trump as he claims.
Let us start withTrump’s hero, Abraham Lincoln. His position was not about freeing the slave. He made that clear during his 1858 run for senate in Charleston, lll. Much like McConnell and Graham he made it perfectly clear how he felt about a free slave. He said, “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making or bringing about in any way the social and politically equality of the white and black races.”
He was trying to be politically correct, but 9 years later in 1865 as President of the United States, he was singing a different tune as it related to the Emancipation Proclamation that made the slave a free man and woman.He cleaned up his act for his run during his Presidency, but he didn’t fool the great abolitionist Frederick Douglas. Douglas knew he was playing both sides of the fence.
Clinton did absolutely nothing, there is no legislation that can be found where he signed into law that enhanced or improved life in the black community. He owns the 30 billion dollar 1994 Crime Bill that he signed into law. The bill locked up thousands of black men.Blacks were impressed with his playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall show and how he would show at Sylvia’s Restaurant for soul food. There are some black folks who still call him “The first black President!”
Trump, he helped save black colleges (half-truth), he granted executive clemency for 25 individuals charged or convicted of federal criminal offenses. He allowed NFL legend Jim Brown to con him out of 50 million dollars disguised as prison reform. Trump pardon the first black heavyweight champion of the World, Jack Johnson.
Obama is the officially the first black President. He looked good being President for eight years. The First Lady was the best First Lady ever. She found her way into the hearts of the black community. Their two daughters despite the pressure and spotlight of growing up in the White House made us proud. They gave the tabloids no dark moments. I am deliriously happy they got out of there alive.
Obama’s biggest failure to me was in his hometown of Chicago, for eight years he did little or nothing to curb the gun violence that claimed the lives of some of the city’s youngest and brightest. He could make a jump shot from the corner, but he did little to stop the shots being fired in drive-by shootings in Chicago. There was no safe heaven or “Even Playing field to be found in the Chicago Hood. Obama ignored the pleas of the late Senator John McCain and other boxing historians to pardon the great Jack Johnson.Trump jumped at the opportuniy.
Richard Nixon started his quest for civil rights in 1957 as Vice-President in the Eisenhower administration. We met in the summer of 1957, I was a caddy at the exclusive Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Md. I was trying to help my mother make ends meet.
He did more to support and uplift Black Americans than, Lincoln, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama, and Trump.
Nixon would later become the 37th President of the United States
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. He signed the Civil Rights Act into law on july 2, 1964 prohibiting discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools. The law made employment discrimination illegal, this document was the most sweeping Civil Rights legistration since reconstruction.
The man behind this sweeping legislation was Richard Nixon. He is credited for having a strong record on foreign policy, but his record on domestic policy, especially civil rights is often overlooked. During his years as Vice-President under President Dwight Eisenhower he sought to ensure minorities especially, Black Americans were not discriminated against in federal contracts (The Philadelphia Plan/Arthur Fletcher). He also worked with Congress to spearhead the Civil rights act of 1957, sweeping legistlation was a precursor to the landmark Civil Rights act of 1865 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
When he reached the Presidency he sought to expand economic opportunities for Black Americans by ending discrimination in the work place, through the endowment of black colleges with federal funds, and help them to find meaningful employment through job assistance programs, and promotion of entrepreurship an initiative called “Black Capitism.” In 1970, was perhaps the hall mark of the Nixon administration Civil Rights policies. He sought to end decades of old and traditional segregated schools for black and white children throughout the nation, predominantly in the southern states.
During his second term as Vice-President, he shepherd through Congress the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The civil rights legislation empowered the Justice Department to prosecute the civil rights cases through a newly established Civil Rights Division. It allowed prosecutors to obtain court injunctions when a citizen’s rights to vote were violated.
Nixon’s role proved to be crucial in Congress. He was vocal about about the administration’s civil rights goals and while serving in his Constitutional role as President of the U. S. Senate. He help lead the effort to get the bill to the senate floor, southern Democrats opposed and blocked provisions that would allow the justice department authority to protect broad constitutional rights including school desegregation and voting rights violations.
In August 1957 in a constituent letter, he expressed disappointment that the Senate had watered down the original version of the civil rights bill, however, he did express hope, writing, “I am convinced that we will continue to make progress toward our goal of guaranteeing rights for every American.” There is little doubt, he was the political Godfather of Civil Rights.
Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King in a meeting with Vice-President Nixon said, “It was much better than no bill at all. We can at least be sure that we are moving steadily ahead.“
Racism in America has been a foregone conclusion for over 400+ years and counting. The problem, black folks keep looking for love in all the wrong places! For example; Hip-Hop icons /Ice Cube-50 Cents-Cardi B-Little Wayne and Kanye West all jumped into the Presidential 2020 sweepstakes making their voices heard, some were loud and wrong, but remember this is America and we can be loud and wrong. We paid the price with our blood sweat and tears.
Why is it so difficult to cross over the aisle from Democrat to Republican to help the folks who put you in office? The answer is GREED. 90% of the politicians are chasing the almighty dollar!
America has a systemic embedded racial problem, but this is my home. I remember my first home was a one room shack and a outhouse on Douglas street in NE DC—it burned to the ground when I was three years old. Motown legend Smokey Robinson says it best during a guest appearance on Def Comedy Jam see link and what it means to be black:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfYMgZekMo
I literally went from a outhouse to a White House, to have lunch with the President of the United States. I sat on a mountain top with the Greatest, Muhammad Ali! I did it all with no boots or bootstraps.
There have been poems written about me. In 1972 INSIDE SPORTS was out of Compton long before Ice Cube and NWA. While they had to go underground to call out the cops and crooked politicians—I was calling them out above ground without the profanity on AM Radio-WOOK & WUST while the FCC was watching me closely.
My theme music on my sports talk show came from my homeboy and friend Marvin Gaye, Gil Scott, Bob Marley, the Staple singers and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes “Wake Up Everybody”. Inside Sports was the Breakfast Club and Dinner Club long before Charlamgne the God, DJ Envy and Angela Yee, most likely before they were born. I followed in the footstep of the legendary radio and television personality Petey Greene my mentor.
INTRO AMERICANPOLITICS 101:HOW TO PLAY THE GAME WITHOUT SELLING OUT!
Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble, Inc. became barometers for similar programs that followed. I was able to cross the isle because I had the ear of one President, four Republicans and twelve Democrats and I stayed in my lane. I am going to try describe my up close and personal experieces with the politicians below in as few words as possible:
*President Richard Nixon (R-Cali) In our early years (57-58) as Vice-President I knew he cared because he would listen-like most human beings he was flawed., but that does not wipe out his good works for Black America.
Strom Thurmond (R-SC) He was a man of his word.
*Bob Dole (R-Kan) wishy-washy
Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) My hero-the utmost respect. He kept his word and kept it real. He was the first politician to honor me in the Congressional Record.
*Walter Fauntroy (D-DC) I love and respect him-but he would not listen.
*Perrin Mitchell (D-Baltimore) Integrity and honest.
*J. C. Watts (R-Oklahoma) He knew when to hold them and he knew when to fold them. The proverbial “Glass Ceiling” was a little too high and expensive for him. He left the Republic Party in 2003. In Februay 2019 he found the Black News Channel.
*William Clay (D-Missouri) Lou Stokes’ partner these two kept me in the mix.
*Steny Hoyer (D-Md) his word you can carry to the bank.
*Hank Johnson (D-Ga) I still have questions about this brother?
*John Lewis (D-Ga) A Prince of a man, unpretentious-still flawed.
*Elija Cummings (D-Baltimore) I would walk down any dark alley with him.
*Decatur Trotter (D-Md)my mentor and dear friend I miss him dearly. He made it possible for me to become the first independent media personality to receive sponsorship with Md. State Lottery for my Inside Sports talk radio show.He knew how to reach backand make it count.
*Mayor Walter Washington (D) Mis-understood. He cared about DC and its people.
*Mayor Marion Barry (D-DC) he meant well, but he would not listen, he was forewarn. Famous last words, “The bitch set me up.”
*Dave Bing NBA Hall of Fame and Mayor (D-Detroit) liar, let our high school coach die after giving his word to help him financially. He was forewarn in his run for Mayor. He led Detroit into a 20 billion dollar bankruptcy, a record for a city in American history. He returns home like a hero to bury our coach in a Mausoleum–too late!
Dr. Claude Anderson knew how to play “The Game. ” When he was with the Jimmy Carter White House he was able to get three Federal Judges appointed to the bench without approval from Congress. He crossed over the aisle when Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) of the Senate Judicial Committee called him asking for a favor.
Thurmond was alledgely one of the so-called biggest racist on the Hill. He needed some heavy equitment for his district in South Carolina including trailers and several bulldozers.
Dr. Anderson, fullfilled the Senator’s request, but before he hung up he reminded him one good deed deserves another. He also needed a favor. His request, he needed three judges that included Alcee Hastings in Jacksonville, Fla. Senator Thurmond’s response-DONE!
Dr. Anderson’s “Playing the Game” brings me back to December 1974 J. D. Bethea, a sports columnist for the Wasington Star-News wrote, “Harold Bell may be the only black guy living who ever grew up in a ghetto, in real poverty , but never learned to “Play the Game,” that great American pastime. Everybody plays the game to some degree. That’s what success is all about. playing the game. Being alternately malleable and assertive with the right people at the right time. Bell never learned. If he had given his drive and single-miness of purpose, he would probably be dangeous.”
A chance meeting on a golf course open doors I thought were never possible. In our last conversation as he was heading out of the country, Nixon said, “Harold I want you to finish your education!”I came up short, but common sense-street sense-a little book sense was sufficient.
Highlights of a life lived:
*1960 I traveled down Tobbaco Road to Winston-Salem, NC to meet and play for the legendary Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines. He stopped me from going to hell in a hurry. In 2007 I received the first Bighouse Gaines Community Service Award.
*April 4,1968 I walked arm and arm with my co-worker NFL legend Willie Wood and the first modern day U. S. Marshall in-Charge Luke Moore during the riots.I was armed with a DC Police Department badge to assist me while crossing military and police barricades.Thanks to Community Police advocate Ass’t Chief Tilmon O’Bryant.
*November 1968 Hattie and I were married in her hometown of Orangeburg, SC.
*December 1968 Hattie and I found our non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. We were the host for toys for tots for 45 straight years without grants or loans. Thousands of kids in the DMV benefited.
*1969 I saw an old friend touring the riot area in the Cardozo/Shaw neighborhood. I knew him as the former Vice-President, but now he was the President of the United States, Richard Nixon.
*1969 I received a Presidential appointment. In 1970 I found the first ever half-way house on a military installation on Bolling AFB. I had a little help from my friends, DC Superior Court Judge Luke C. Moore and DC Mayor Walter Washington.
*In 1972 I became the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. The Inside Sports format changed the way we talk sports in America and around the globe.
*1974 Muhammad Ali shocked the world when he knocked out the undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, George Foreman. The fight is now known as the Rumble in the Jungle.
On his return home Ali shocked the sports media world, when his first call was not to Ed Bradley (60 Minutes CBS)), Bryant Gumble (NBC), or Howard Cosell (ABC), he called a little unknown sports talk radio show host, Harold Bell in Washington, DC. He gave me an exclusive one on one interview. He had made me a promise in Chicago before leaving for Zaire, I would be the first one to interview him on his return to the United States. He kept his word–unheard of in today’s black community.
*June 1975 the DC Chamber of Commerce honored Muhammad Ali as the Athlete of the Century. The President James Denson ask me to pick-up the champion from the airport. During the dinner at the Sheraton-Park Hotel before a standing room only crowd, while being honored by DC Mayor Walter Washington, Ali called me out and asked me to stand up–I had no clue.The champ’s next words were, “Mr. Mayor do you know Harold Bell? The Mayor hesitated and Ali repeated his question, Mr. Mayor do you know Harold Bell? Mayor Washington responded, “Of course I know Harold Bell who does not know Harold Bell?”Ali’s response would bring the house down, “Mr. Mayor you are not as dumb as you look. Harold Bell is my friend and I don’t want anything to happen to him, do you understand? The Mayor nodded his head that he understood and the tribute continued.A Priceless moment!
November 1975 I became the first black to host and produce his own television special in prime time on NBC afilliate WRC TV 4. My special guest, Muhammad Ali.
In 1980 I was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. The honor made me the first sports media personality ever honored.
There was and is more than one way to “Play the Game.” You don’t have to hurt the people you love. Remember, your WORD is the only thing you own in America. they can take your car, your house and your bank account, but they cannot take your WORD. In 2020 we are still looking for love in all the wrong places!
NOTE WORTHY: Harold Bell receives National Association Black Journalist Pioneer Award for 2020.
HAROLD BELL & INSIDE SPORTS ARE STILL NO. 1
Black Men in America.com the on-line magazine is ranked No. 5 among the 500 most read on-line black websites in America.
The No. 1 blogger and most popular search engine is HAROLD BELL.
Which search keywords send traffic to this site?
1. HAROLD BELL
2. African American spending habits
3. black consumers
4. black yacht club
5. all in one master tonic 3.38%
1) Blackplanet.com – A community for African Americans, that provides an interactive forum with chat, photos, games.
2)Blackamericaweb.com – African American perspective on news, travel, entertainment, business, technology, and sports.
3)Dallasblack.com – Featuring Dallas/Ft.Worth African-American community events, businesses, scholarships, job post.
Donald Trump’s is often compared with Richard Milhouse Nixon, the 37th President of the United States and of Watergate fame. I have seen both up close and personal.
There is little or no comparison, Nixon was a brilliant politician until Watergate. If not for Watergate he would have gone down in American as one of its greatest Presidents, but “Who’s on First” comedy act at the Watergate Hotel would lead to his undoing.
Who’s on First” is one of the most famous baseball comedies of all time. Bud Abbot and Lou Costello were the comedians who performed the act.
The skit followed a humous exchange the two had at a ballgame. Costello was a peanut vendor at the ball park when he encounters Abott who is the coach of the team. Costello asked Abott who was his starting line-up. However, before Abott can get from naming the pitcher to the catcher behind the plate, Costello wanted to know everyone’s name on the team. Abott starts with giving him the pitcher’s name and then the catcher’s name, but when he gets to the first baseman’s name the pronouciation is difficult. Costello has to ask Abott over and over again, “Who’s on First”? To understand why this was so funny GOOGLE the show “Who’s on First” and listen to the dialogue.
The Watergate break-in and “Who’s on First” had a lot in common. For example, it was not immediately known that the burgulars who broke into the Watergate Hotel were connected to President Nixon. The “Who’s on First” gang had names like, Virgil Gonzlez, Bernard Barker, James McCord, Eugenio Martinez, and Frank Sturgis. G. Gordy Liddy and E. Howard Hunt were the captains of this sinking ship. John Dean, was the White House attorney and the snitch from within. He is barred from the Nixon Library.
The Washington Post’s Carl Berstein and Bob Woodward use a shadowy figure known only as “Deep Throat” to help force the resignation of Richard Nixon. It was years later FBI agent Mark Felt revealed he was “Deep Throat” the real man responsible for taking down the Nixon White House.
What hip-hop artist or rapper will be responsible for taking down the Trump White House? The names in the mix, Kanye West, Cardi B, 50 Cents, Ice Cube or Little Wayne.
Ice Cube recently received major flak for going to sit down with members of the Trump White House, it was a big-to-do over nothing. First, Ice took his contract for Black America to the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris team to see if they would be interested in implementing the plan as part of their platform in the future. They politely said “Not Now” and Ice moved on over to the other side of the aisle to the Trump team. The Trump team said they would be interested in sitting down with him and they did. It didn’t cost them anything and it didn’t cost him anything, but all hell broke loose in Black America. They were saying who in the hell does Ice Cube think he is going to sit down with the enemy, Donald Trump?
There was no word when Kanye and NFL legend Jim Brown showed up in the Oval Office. The only word was Kanye didn’t take his medicine, in the meantime Jim slipped out of the door with 50 million dollars.
With Ice Cube’s contract the first thing I did instead of trying to read between the lines-I went on line to find out what was the contract all about. I found an interview he did with Rolling Stone Magazine. It took me about 15 minutes to read it from my cell phone–but I got it!
He made it perfectly clear this was not a Democratic move or a Republican move, because he didn’t trust neither one. They earned that mistrust with their past history with Black America.
I am going to summarize the contract and what I think I read. Ice said, this contract is about Black Americans only. I am talking about blacks whose ancestors were brought to American from Africa against their will and through free labor built this country. I am not talking about people of color, or immigrants. I am talking about blacks only.
Its is about time someone put Black America FIRST! You name the organization, NAACP, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, theCongressional Black Caucus, Black Governors and Black Mayors none have ever suggested “Black Folks First!”
White folks have been pimping us for over 400+ years. When the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1865 pretending to free the slaves, the men who wrote the proclamation still owned slaves. Trump has said loud and clear during his administration he has done more for blacks then any other President with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. He picked the wrong role model. When they finally freed us they promised us “Forty Acres and Mule”. There is no such thing as an ‘Even Playing Field” in America.
Preparations are out of the question. Its a forgone conclusion, they ain’t giving up no land or money which equals POWER!
When we move one step closer to an EVEN PLAYING FIELD for example; the definition of a minority was changed. the original definition changed when whom ever wrote the law decided they would add a white woman and make her a minority. This watered down the benefits for a black woman and a black man. The original definition refers to a group of people whose race, religion, ethnicity or characteristics are lesser in numbers than the main groups of those classifications. There has been an on-going fight for equal pay for women–what about equal pay for men? How can you make someone a minority when she goes to bed with The Man every night and wakes up with him every morning? A white man in America in 2020 makes twice the salary of a black man in America!
When I hear a black man or woman repeat, “black folks don’t want to work to get ahead, they are lazy.” That is some BS, that is something they have heard some white man, brother or sister who made to the other side and forgot who they are and where they came from. The next time you heard someone utter those words, ask them this simple question, “who do you think built this country?”
I understand exactly where Ice Cube is coming from. White America allows hispanics and other immigrants to come to America to stun our growth. They are paid peanuts for their labor and then white folks get pissed off because we won’t work for those same peanuts–they owe us BIG time! They have distribute land to everyone but us (the native Americans deserved their piece of land). We go to financial institutions seeking loans for homes considered the doorway to the American Dream and we are knocked backdown on our knees by Redlining and Blacklining at some of our own financial institutions.
MEET ABRAHAM LINCOLN DONALD TRUMP’S HERO!
Abraham Lincoln, when he was running for the senate in 1858 in Charleston, lll against a rival. He made it clear how he felt about a free slave. He said, “I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making of bringing about in any way the social and politically equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have I ever been in favor of making jurors of negroes, nor qualify them in holding office nor intermarry with white people.
I will say in addiction to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black race which I believe I will forever forbid the two races from living together on terms of social and political equality. And as so much they cannot live together there must be the position of superior and inferior and I as much as any other man I am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”