During the 1968 riots the Public Safety Director was a man by the name of Patrick V. Murphy. Mayor Walter Washington the city’s first black Mayor hired him as the Director of the DC Police and Fire Departments.
Mr. Murphy moved up through the ranks of the New York City Police Department. He became recognized as a leader among law enforcement officials seeking ways to deter the violence and racial unrest that simmered just below the surface of American life in the 1960s.
He was a reform-minded law enforcement official who hailed from New York City. He was nationally known for trying to defuse tensions between police and inner-city residents. He shaped and supervised the District’s efforts to deal with the historic rioting of 1968.
Mr. Murphy was recognized as a champion of restraint. In particular, he tried to minimize the use of force and trained police officers to respect the rights and dignity of the poor and the voiceless.
Mr. Murphy came to Washington in 1965 as a Justice Department official before being appointed the District’s first director of public safety in 1967.
In 1967 I became a Roving Leader for Department of Recreation & Parks as a Youth Gang Task Force member. Mr. Murphy quickly brought the Roving Leaders into the department and made us Community Partners.
Eager for improvement in the interaction between citizens and government, Mr. Murphy became an advocate of what later became known as community policing. He greatly increased the recruiting and promotion of members of minority groups in the police and fire departments.
When all hell broke loose on April 4, 1968 our Prince of Peace the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, we were ready thanks to Mr. Murphy.
My co-worker the late Willie Wood of the NFL Green Bay Packers and me were standing on the corner of 9th U Streets NW on a bright sunshiny day. Someone in a car drove by and yelled “Harold Bell they just shot and killed Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee”.
Willie looked at me and said, “I think we got trouble my man”, within an hour smoke and flames had broken out all over the city. The terror and the disorder that broke out in Washington, DC caught everyone by surprise. Mr. Murphy, as the city’s public safety director, became the leader. The Nation’s Capital became the center of attention all over the world. Mr. Murphy had already reached out to community activist, youth advocates and the DC Department of Recreation & Parks Roving Leader Program Youth Gang Task Force. We were ask to assist police officers in community reach-back programs and it paid off. I thought we held the loss of life to single digits because of our training under Mr. Murphy, it was later reported that twelve people were killed. It was still the lowest loss of life compared to other cities.
First, Willie Wood and I would team up with our friend pioneering U. S. Marshall in-charge, Luke C. Moore. We walked the U street NW corridor arm and arm until I was called by my boss Stanley Anderson. I was told Ass’t Chief Tilmon O’Bryant at the 3rd District HQ wanted to meet with me.
Chief O’Bryant was the highest ranking black official in the DC Police Department. He was so smooth I called him, “Cool Hand Luke”. He was a man of the streets, ‘The Original Officer Friendly’.
I made my way to the 3rd District HQ and to my surprise Chief O’Bryant was having Roll Call. He summoned me to come to stand by his side. I was in for another surprise, he swore me in and gave me a police badge, but no gun. The badge would allow me to pass through the police and military barricades set up around the city to contain the looters. The three days as a cop with no gun are three days I will never forget.
There was one incident according to a story written in the Washington Post in 1978 by James Lardner, a former D.C. police officer. He wrote, “I remember well from the 1968 riots, there was an episode that illuminated Mr. Murphy’s policies and how he put them into practice. On the second full day of the riots, he encountered a confrontation at Sixth and M streets NW. As residents complained about how their neighbors had been treated. The police were on edge, Mr. Murphy stepped in and quietly told the people to go back to their homes.”
“He told the police, be courteous to these people. He then removed police officers from the street and left it to military troops to disperse the crowd”.
The most significant move by Mr. Murphy to me was when he and Mayor Washington stood their ground against FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover sent an order out “shoot looters on sight”. Mayor Washington and Murphy both said, “Not on my watch”.
Mr. Murphy was widely quoted as saying, “I will resign rather then carry out orders to shoot those making off with merchandise”. His thoughts, ‘lives were more important than merchandise’.
The rioting in Washington was among the most destructive in the nation. Thousands of federal troops were sent into the city, and thousands of residents were arrested. A dozen people were killed, fewer than the number who had died in rioting in other cities.
Merchants who had seen their businesses destroyed complained that the police had not been forceful enough, and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill lent a sympathetic ear.
But Mr. Murphy, while deploring the destruction, was satisfied with the restraint shown by the police “Violence begets violence,” he said.
The businessmen were right to complain, but Mr. Murphy was right on, he put human life before merchandise. I recalled, the very first day of the riots the looters had a field day. They took everything that was not nailed down and there were no arrest. Evidently, Mr. Murphy decided to crack down the second day and friends of the looters and the looters didn’t like it!
Shortly after the 1969 inauguration of Richard M. Nixon as president, Mr. Murphy left his city government post and I left the DC Recreation Department’s Roving Leader Program for the Richard Nixon White House (Presidential Appointment).
As a decade of turbulent change drew to a close, Mr. Murphy was not without detractors. But he was widely viewed as a spokesman for police reform (50 years ahead of his time).
In 1970, he became police chief in Detroit. In the same year, when scandal threatened the department in his home town, he was called on by Mayor John V. Lindsay to head back to the New York City Police Department in the wake of devastating corruption.
In New York, he changed the formal policy on use of deadly force, permitting it only to defend life. The new approach became influential across the country.
“If you were a big-city mayor with a slightly berserk police department on your hands,” Washington Post reporter, James Lardner wrote, “there was one preferred remedy. You hired Patrick V. Murphy.”
Where is Patrick Murphy when we need him? I never got the chance to thank Mr. Murphy for saving so many lives in my hometown. He died 2011 at the age of 91. RIP to a real life “Officer Friendly”.
Footnote: Keeping Patrick Murphy’s Police Community Relations forums and community policing hopes alive decades later.
I came into the living room on Wednesday, June 4, 2020, and I found my wife Hattie crying. I asked her what was wrong, but I saw she was watching the news and the report that the three other officers had been arrested in the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. She said, “I wish daddy and mommy were here to see this.” I understood exactly what she was saying!
This is a little known black history fact as it relates to the bravery of black South Carolinians.
They help create America’s first modern day civil rights movement. The pictorial history can be found of the movement in the book “Out of the Box in Dixie”. Photographed and chronicled by civil rights famed photographer Cecil J. Williams. The book clearly shows the modern-day movement started in Clarendon, South Carolina long before Brown vs. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, and the lunch counter sit-ins.
Author Cecil Williams is a cousin of Dr. Charles H.Thomas Jr. Dr. Thomas was one of the leaders of the movement when it moved from Clarendon to Orangeburg, South Carolina in the ’50s. Cecil was still in high school but was armed with a camera and he would travel.
The Godfather of the civil rights movement was a brother by the name of Rev. Joseph DeLaine. In 1949 Rev. DeLaine and friend Harry Briggs organized a group of parents in Clarendon and formed a picket line and challenged school segregation in the county.
The Briggs vs Elliott petition bearing Harry Briggs’ name was the forerunner of Brown vs. Board of Education. Their challenge was the first to move to the Supreme Court. Several years later four other cases would evolve into Brown vs Board of Education. Famed civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall would represent the plaintiffs. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional.
My Spingarn high school basketball teammate the late Spotswood Bolling would be the lead plaintiff in integrating the Washington, DC Public School system (Bolling vs Board of Education). We thank Harry Briggs and Rev. DeLaine for their sacrifices and courage against all odds.
The white folks of Clarendon County also thanked Rev. DeLaine by burning his church to the ground. He would later have to flee for his life to New York City. The Clarendon County police took out a warrant for his arrest after he returned gunfire defending his family and home from members of the Klu Klux Klan. In New York City in 1956 the First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attended a rally on behalf of Rev. DeLaine at MadisonSquareGarden with actress Tulalah Bankhead.
With Rev. DeLaine exiled to New York City, the Clarendon County Klan thought they had ended the fight for freedom in South Carolina but his neighbors in Orangeburg County had his back.
Attorney Thurgood Marshall would become an advisor to the Orangeburg freedom fighters led by a “Dream Team” of civil rights leaders that included members of the NAACP, clergy, and the late Dr. Charles H. Thomas Jr. a Professor of Psychology at South Carolina StateUniversity. Thurgood Marshall would go on to become the first black judge to be seated on the Supreme Court.
During one student uprising, the OrangeburgCounty police swooped down on protesters and locked up over 350 students. They were held in an outdoor jail like a stockade, it reminded many of Nazi Germany. The New York Times published a front-page picture of students in the stockade.
Dr. Thomas and the entire Thomas clan were on the front lines of the civil rights movement. The Thomas Family without a doubt is the “First Family of Civil Rights” in Orangeburg County.
On several occasions, Dr. Thomas had to put up his house for collateral to get his children and other students out of jail. It was the norm for Atty. Mathew Perry to be summoned to get Hattie, Charlease, Loretta, Reggie, and Ann all out of the OrangeburgCounty jail. Cops and judges knew Thomas’ family by their name.
It was definitely a family affair. The family participation included Dr. Thomas’ wife Elease, sister Nancy and brother Milbren. They could be seen protecting his back on the picket line during marches in downtown Orangeburg. Future sons-in-law Weldon Hammond was a student and Robert Stevenson was teaching at South Carolina State. They also prove to be pains in the ass to law-enforcement.
Ann Thomas Riley the youngest daughter would be one of the first blacks to integrate the Orangeburg all-white high school and Harold Riley her husband was one the students shot during the “Orangeburg Massacre”
Schoolteacher Gloria Rackley was another important member of the Thomas clan she was known to the family as Aunt Gloria. She was a true warrior where ever you saw the Thomas clan she was just a step behind. Her ties were so strong to the family and the NAACP the OrangeburgCounty school system threatened her with dismissal if she did not cut her ties.
She walked away and continued to fight.
When Charlease was arrested the cops tried to separate her from the rest of the protesters because she was Dr. Thomas’ daughter. It was Gloria Rackley who got between her and the cops and said “no way.” Gloria’s daughter Lurma would later become the Press Secretary for DC Mayor Marion Barry and now is the PR rep for Atlanta, Georgia Urban League Director
The fight for civil rights got so intense in Orangeburg the Rev. Martin Luther King (insert) made his presence known at a rally as a spectator in January 1963.
Dr. Thomas’s leadership as President of the local chapter of the NAACP is legendary. His advisor and right hand were Attorney Mathew Perry. Attorney Perry would show up in a courtroom and the white judges would immediately take a bathroom break and sometimes would not come back.
Attorney Perry would go on to become the first black judge to be seated on the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Dr. Thomas started and founded voter registration on the campus of South Carolina State University, it would spread throughout the state. He was also a pain in the ass for white folks and the Uncle Toms in Orangeburg. The white folks had their “House Negroes” who would sit in on the strategy meetings and report the upcoming plans to their white bosses. It got so bad Dr. Thomas and the other coordinators of the marches and boycotts had to have two meetings. In the first meeting, they would give out misleading information and plans for the ‘House Negroes’ to carry back to their bosses. The second meeting would be held to discuss the true plan. Sixty years later that type of plantation mentality is still holding us back.
The Orangeburg Massacre was the worst murder of students on an educational institution in the history of this country (including Kent State).
White law-enforcement would lead Claflin and South Carolina State students on peaceful daylight marches to downtown Orangeburg but under the cover of darkness, they became deadly assassins.
In 1968 highway patrolmen and local cops shot and killed three students and wounded 27 more. My brother-in-law Harold Riley a native of Orangeburg took two bullets that night and watched his friend Samuel Hammond die. One bullet is still lodged in his leg. These hideous acts were carried out without provocation on the campus of South Carolina State University.
On that fateful night, students were first participating in a peaceful march and demonstration at a local segregated bowling alley just off-campus.
There might have been some name-calling among the student-directed toward law-enforcement. The cops evidently took it personal and without warning started shooting in the direction of the students who retreated to their campus. When the smoke had cleared three students were dead. The cops claimed they were fired on first and forty years later they have yet to come up with a smoking gun. In 2009 despite a black man in the White House, there is still Justice and Just-Us in America!
I read a story titled “The Morning After” in the Washington Post written by black columnist Eugene Robinson. The story was related to the election of America’s first Black President I almost brought up my breakfast of grits, eggs, and sausage. Robinson was interviewing Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon John Lewis and said something like “I think John Lewis is one of the most courageous men of the civil rights crusade. I thought of the beating he took on the Pettis Edmond Bridge and the scars his body still bears.” What makes Robinson’s observation so ridiculous is the fact that this brother has roots in Orangeburg, South Carolina. His father taught at Claflin University during the height of the civil rights crusade and he does not have a clue. The struggles of the pioneers in Clarendon and Orangeburg counties were never mentioned in his column.
The real heroes of the civil rights crusade were young black men like the three brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice, they gave their lives.
John Lewis’ contributions are commendable but they are pale in comparison.
Highway Patrolmen stand over the fallen bodies of two students Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond, and Henry Smith died like animals with white cops standing over them with guns pointed and yelling “Die nigger die” and they did. No man or woman in America should ever have to die like that and for Eugene Robinson not to be aware of the sacrifices of those young men is another crime in the black community. But there he is in the Washington Post and on National television every week claiming to be an expert on Black America. For this, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Something is wrong with this picture!
In the State Capitol of Columbia South Carolina, there stands a tall imposing statue of a man who stood and still stands for white supremacy—the late Senator Strom Thurmond.
During daylight hours he was seen preaching hate niggers and at night he was sleeping with one. He fathered a black child out of wedlock and unlike some deadbeat dads, he made sure she was properly cared for and received a good education. She was enrolled at South Carolina State where he would often visit her to make sure the hired hands were doing their job properly.
Dr. Thomas and Senator Thurmond had several eyeballs to eyeball confrontations during the movement. They would later become great friends out of respect for each other.
When Dr. Thomas decided that he had enough of the “Player Haters” and envy and jealous Negroes in Orangeburg he moved to DC his adopted hometown. It was Strom Thurmond who recommended him for a Presidential appointment to the Richard Nixon White House. Dr. Thomas would accept an appointment to become the Director of Equal Opportunity Employment for the United States Post Office.
Thanks to Dr. Thomas, Senator Thurmond and I became fast friends and he became a big supporter of Kids In Trouble, Inc. One Christmas he assigned his office staff to help me coordinate my toys for tots Christmas party and wrote several letters of reference for me.
Dr. Charles H. Thomas Jr. was inducted into the Black South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2005.
Congratulations to the trailblazing Tuskegee Airmen and the Little Rock 9 who all received invitations to the swearing-in of President Barrack Obama. Someone dropped the ball when they failed to invite The Thomas Circle.
Singing legend Sam Cooke had a concert in Columbia South Carolina during the height of the movement. He performed in front of a segregated audience. It is rumored that experience inspired him to write his classic “A Change is going to come.”
Sam Cooke was a prophet:
A CHANGE DID COME:
THE CHANGE———–SENATOR STROM THURMOND BECAME A CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE
THE CHANGE———-BARRACK OBAMA THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT
THE CHANGE—-THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FOUR WHITE COPS ARE ARRESTED FOR THE MURDER OF A BLACK MAN
Law Enforcement Way: Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin is caught on video with his knee on the neck of George Floyd. He makes himself judge and jury.
The Minneapolis black Police Chief Medaria Arradondo immediately fired all four officers involved in the death of George Floyd after seeing the above video. The video clearly shows Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd while he groans and pleads to the officer saying “I cannot breath”. Sound familiar, Eric Garner a black man died at the hands of four white New York City cops for selling loose cigarettes in 2014, he echoed the very same words ‘I cannot breath’. The brutal murder of George Floyd by four cops was also seen on video. With no arrest the question seem to be, “Who are you going to believe the video or your lying eyes”? Derek Chauvin was finally arrested on Friday and charged with 3rd degree murder.
The white Mayor, Jacob Frey was more on point, he stepped up front and center a day after this horrific crime at a press conference and said “George Floyd was murdered by the four officers”. He added, “I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level, being black in America should not be a death sentence”
George Floyd worked as a security guard at restaurant/club according to Chief Arradondo Mr. Floyd died after a “Medical incident in a police interaction”. It has since been discovered the Chauvin and Floyd worked security together at the same restaurant. The two men were not strangers. Floyd’s girl friend was white.
Black Detroit Police Chief James Craig said, The “Officer who killed George Floyd should be arrested for murder”.
Democratic Chairman, Tom Perez, said, “We will not heal as a nation through silence — but through justice, through progress, through activism and action. George Floyd is the name we’re chanting today. Yesterday it was Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Before that it was Botham Jean, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald. We will keep saying their names. We will keep honoring their lives. And we will keep seeking justice for their families — and the families of those whose tragedies weren’t captured on video — by fighting to end police brutality and the institutional racism that pervades every aspect of our society. So long as Black men and women cannot breathe, we cannot rest.”
The Legends of Inside Sports Uncut Face Book Live.
Date: Saturday May 30, 2020 Time: 9 pmTopic: When is murder-MURDER?
SPECIAL GUEST: TOP COPS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE ATLANTA NAACP:
ANDREW JOHNSON– is a 34 year veteran of law Enforcement. He Started out as a DC foot patrolman in the Cardozo/Shaw community in 1965. In 1967 hejoined the Homicide squad as a lead detective. In 1975 he joined the DEA and retired as a Supervisor.
REAMER SHEDRICK– is a native Washingtonian, and a graduate of Eastern Senior High School, class of ’66. He Served two years in the Army from 1966-1968. Reamer joined the MPDC in 1970. He served in many capacities i.e; First District Patrol Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Stolen Auto Squad Investigator, Fugitive Detective G2, Intelligence Division Detective, Mayor Security Detail (Mayor Marion Berry). Retired from MPDC 1n 1999.
Re-joined MPDC in 2000 in the Senior Officers Program, assigned as a Background Investigator in Recruiting Division until 2011. In 2012, he worked at the National Court in the Security Force until 2014.
RICHARD ROSE, is the president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP. He is an Atlanta businessman and long-time civil rights activist. He is a practicing certified public accountant and a native of Memphis, TN, it was there he started his civil rights activism. He is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where he lettered in track and was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He has served as president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP since 2015, the latest in his record of service to his community.
THE BEAT GOES ON AND ON!
Central park woman calls cops on black man while walking in the park black
Detroit Bank teller calls cops on a black man while banking black.
President Trump: “Threatens to let the dogs out”?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fkafk63frbg&feature=youtu.be HERE COMES THE JUDGE LUKE C. MOORE
The Kids In Trouble, Inc DMV Police Community Relations Forum. Co-host Jim Brown (NFL) and Congressman Tom Davis (R-Vir)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geFgPqTesnk/ Elijah Cummings “Are we better than this”?
For more information call 240-334-7174
THIS 2020 MEMORIAL DAY IS IN MEMORY OF MY VIET NAM VET BROTHER SGT. EARL ‘BULL’ BELL.
50+ YEARS LATER CORRUPT COPS & RACISM STILL ON TOP BURNER. THE LATEST GEORGE FLOYD.
He was a Military Cop (MP) in Mannheim, Germany, starting fullback on the base football team, Heavyweight Boxing Champion, table Tennis Champion and a softball umpire. He led black military soldiers on downtown nightclubs that had policies of “No Blacks allowed”! He confronted U. S. Army MPs who were there to enforce the racist policies of the clubs. His actions did not sit well with U. S. Army brass. He was all set to sign for another tour, but decided to separate from a racist Army and return home to DC.
Bull Bell the Champion
Some how Jet Magazine got hold of our stories, Earl confronting racism in Germany and his big brother making out with a racist President at the White House. The beat went on. Earl applied for the DC Police Department and discovered racism was just not confined to Germany. He passed the physical and scored high on the written exam, but he received a letter from black Assistant Chief Maurice Turner a home town boy, the letter said, he was ineligible because of his previous juvenile record.
The Bells, Bull, Mommy B, HB and older brother Bobby (not seen my younger brother William aka, Billy, Puddin, and Tyrik)
I knew there was a law on the books saying, “An adult’s juvenile record cannot be held against him in applying for a job in the DC Government. I turned the letter over to my friend Washington Post columnist, Bill Raspbery. Bill contacted Chief Jerry Wilson and Wilson directed Turner to write Earl a letter of apology saying it was all a mistake.
DC first black Police Chief Burtell Jefferson welcomes Earl to the rank and file. Burtell was all in on Community and Police Relations. He was a frequent supporter of my community endeavors.
During a tour of duty as Sgt. in-charge of the cell block a weekend home for prisoners being held until they could see a judge for a trial date or bond hearing. It was here Sgt. Bell encountered two police officers, one black and one white physically abusing black prisoners only on the weekends. He confronted the two officers and made it clear they would cease the abuse on his watch. The two officers ignored his warning and continued their cowardly acts. He asked me for my advice and I advised him to turn them into the black officials we knew from ‘The Hood’, Marty Tapscott, Maurice Turner, and Issac Fullwood. They all ran for cover and became the ‘Three Little Monkeys, they saw no evil, heard no evil and therefore spoke no evil.
TOP COPS: Tillman O’Byrant and Burtell had retired when Bull was confronted with the THIN BLUE LINE and CODE OF SILENCE!
Bull Bell took his case to the U. S. Attorney’s office and the two cops were indicted. Enter, The Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence and the end of a career of a “Good Cop”! Chief Maurice Turner warned Bull “Watch Your Back”??? Assistant Chief the late Isacc Fullwood, lied to me and said, ‘I got his back’! Three months later Fullwood took Bull off the streets and assigned him to the Police and Fire Clinic without explanation. Sgt. Earl K. Bell driving to the clinic for his new assignment crossing the road on Southern Ave and Suitland Parkway the road had iced over and Sgt. Bell’s car skidded into a 16 wheeler coming from the opposite side of the street. Sgt. Bell survived but he would be paralized for life. The S. E. Community Hospital was overrun with cops, many were there hoping for his recovery and others were hoping he would die. He would die a decade later in a nursing home. On this Memorial Day 2020 I salute my brother for being counted among the living when it counted.
BUCK O’NEIL WITH MR. CUB ERNIE BANKS
BUCK: BATTER UP IN OLD TIMER’S GAME IN CHICAGO
The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is supposed take place on Sunday July 26 2020 in Cooperstown, New York depending on Pandemic coronavirus. If all goes well once again, Buck O’Neil, Curt Flood, and Maury Wills will be nowhere to be found during the induction ceremonies. Their being overlooked won’t be because of steroids.
I met Curt when the Washington Senators defied the baseball Gods/owners and signed him. I encountered him having lunch in Frank’s Restaurant on Florida Avenue NW on a rainy day in 1971. I introduced myself and he treated me to lunch. The next week he was gone. We would not meet again until San Francisco somewhere in the 80s. Former DC weekend sports anchor Martin Wyatt was working as a sports anchor at KGO TV in the Golden City. He was hosting a tribute to Legends of the Game. He invited me and Hattie to the tribute. Curt Flood, Jim Brown, Al Attles were among the legends being honored.
THE GREAT CURT FLOOD AND THE EQUALLY GREAT TED WILLIAMS
CURT, HATTIE T AND AL ATTLES HANGING OUT TOGETHER IN SAN FRANCISCO
Curt is the author of the most heroic individual acts of resistance in modern Major League Baseball history, will be excluded. This year’s inductees — Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith — are incredibly worthy. But none of them has Flood’s revolutionary résumé, although each benefited from Flood’s act of defiance. After the 2000 season, for example, Mussina used free agency to leave the Baltimore Orioles and sign a six-year, $88.5 million contract with the New York Yankees. None of July’s inductees sacrificed as much so that future generations of major leaguers could reap the rewards. Curt has been a thorn on a rose that still sticks in the side of Major League Baseball. While most players were too cowardly to support Flood, Jackie Robinson showed up in court and openly embraced him. Thanks to Robinson, baseball has become a global game. Flood, to this day, is seen by some as antithetical to the big business interests of baseball — of all sports. He was a star player who pushed back against the restrictive status quo. His absence from the MLB Hall of Fame is further proof an “Even Playing and Forty-Acres & Mule” proves we are the only ones who are playing fair.
IN JANUARY 1973 DON SHULA WAS ON TOP OF THE NFL WORLD. HE RECORDED THE FIRST EVER PERFECT SEASON IN NFL HISTORY DEFEATING THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS IN SUPER BOWL VII 14-7.
Don Shula, who won more games than any head coach in National Football League history, led the Miami Dolphins to the league’s only perfect season and helped usher pro football into its modern era, died on Monday in Florida. He was 90.
In his 33 years as a head coach, seven with the Baltimore Colts (1963-69) and 26 with the Dolphins (1970-95), his teams won 328 regular-season games — still an N.F.L. record — lost 156 and tied 6. He still holds the N.F.L. records for games coached (526) and total victories (347 — 23 more than the legendary George Halas of the Chicago Bears). His teams won 10 or more games in a season 21 times and reached the playoffs 19 times. He was coach of the year three times with the Colts.
He built fearsome defenses and explosive offenses in taking his teams, the Baltimore Colts and the Dolphins, to six Super Bowls. He won two with the Dolphins, crowning the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Ironically, he lost back to back Super Bowla before winning back to back Super Bowls in 72 and 73.
Many folks have forgotten it was Shula who lost to Joe Namath and the New York Jets in Super Bowl III — one of the biggest upsets in professional sports — just three years earlier, when Shula coached the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The game, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, gave the A.F.L. the legitimacy it craved while saddling Shula with the label of a coach unable to win on the biggest stage. It also signaled the victory of a flashier kind of football, led by an irrepressible Broadway Joe, over Shula’s blue-collar brand. Shula definitely needed a win badly.
The 1972 Super Bowl was especially painful for me. The Dolphins won all 14 regular-season games despite losing their star quarterback, Bob Griese, to an injury in the fifth game. They had the top-ranked offense and defense, they went on to win the three playoff games and capture Super Bowl VII, an unmatched string of victories, but Shula’s win 1n 1972 he had an assist from a woman who is never mention in that 14-7 defeat of the Washington Redskins, her name was “Lady Luck”!
After the riots in 1968 I found my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. In 1969 Redskin famed lawyer and owner Edward Bennett Williams would lure a man whom many called the NFL’s greatest coach out of retirement, Vince Lombardi. It is said that when Lombardi left Green Bay for Washington, “One town wept and the other cheered.” Lombardi had won the first two Super Bowls and then retired. While watching the third Super Bowl from the sidelines he got the itch for one more season. After 9 seasons in Green Bay (called the Siberia of the NFL by players) Coach Lombardi wanted more, but this time he wanted to coach in the most powerful city in America–Washington, DC. Edward Bennett Williams made him an offered he could not refuse. The contract contained everything but a seat in the oval office of the White House. Lombardi would be the head coach, GM and Vice-President of the team answering only to Edward Bennett Williams.
Following Lombardi would an unknown running back out of Kansas, Larry Brown. Larry got off to a bad start and almost got cut. During training camp Coach Lombardi notice Larry was always a count behind the QB getting off the ball. He asked the team doctor to examine his hearing and there was the problem, his hearing was bad in one of his ears. Lombardi next move was to lure legendary LB Sam Huff out of retirement. He did and the Redskins went 7-5-2, their best won and lost record since 1955.
It looked like all NFL roads were leading to the Super Bowl, but the 1969 season would be Coach Lombardi’s last NFL season. He was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, he died in Georgetown Hospital on September 4, 1970. There were tears in Green Bay, Washington, DC and NFL cities around the country. Former Green Bay Packer and DC native the late Willie Wood said, “I was looking forward to being a coach on Vince’s staff one day”.
NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood was Vince Lombardie’s coach on the field during his nine year career in Green Bay.
In 1969 my childhood friend and my Spingarn high school teammate introduced me to Larry Brown. We became friends and he introduced me to a brother who was a friend to everyone he met, the late great LB Harold McLinton, DB Ted Vactor was a teammate of mine with the Virginia Sailors a minor league team for the Redskins. All three would join me in my community endeavors with Kids In Trouble.
Enter, Coach George Allen from the L. A. Rams. He brought with him “The Over the Hill Gang”, they consisted of linebackers, Jack Pardee, Myron Pottios, Maxie Baughan, defensive tackle Diron Talbert, guard John Wilbur and special teams player Jeff Jordan. The 1970 team went 9-4-1, the most wins by a Redskin team since 1942. Allen’s next move was to trade for multi-talented WR-the Baltimore Colts’, Roy Jefferson.
Dave Bing, Willie Wood, Larry Brown, Harold McLinton, Ted Vactor and Roy Jefferson would be the “ORIGINAL” Kids In Trouble Santa’s Helpers. When I found Bolling Boys Base on Bolling Air Force Base in 1971 they would join DC Superior Court Judges, Luke Moore, Eugene Hamilton, Harry T. Alexander and Chief Judge Harold Greene to cut the ribbon for the first ever half-way house on a military installation to house juvenile deliquents.
The NFL’s hardest runner and over worked player in 1972 MVP Larry Brown
Fatty Taylor, Larry Brown, and Petey Greene hanging out during Kids In Trouble Hillcrest Saturday Program Community Day.
The 1972 NFL season was sweet for Kids In Trouble because the Redskins players became regular visitors to the half-way house and the KIT Saturday Program located at 13th & W Streets NW in the heart of the inner-city. Larry, Harold, Roy and Ted provided on field tickets for the youth for the regular season and play-off games leading to the Super Bowl. We were seated in the end zone when the Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-3 to earn the rights to play the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl. It was those great times with the players a lot of inner-city boys became men.
Redskin Linebackers Harold McLinton and Dave Robinson hold court keeping it real during annual Kids In Trouble Christmas toy party
NFL films video tape Larry and Harold teaching water safety to inner-city kids at Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program.
The trip to LA for Super Bowl VII against Miami was bitter-sweet because the best QB Sonny Jurgensen was injuried. George Allen’s favorite QB Billy Kilmer was slated to start, but the Redskins to a man thought they could still win with Billy. Miami had the No. 1 offense and defense in the league on paper, but the game was still played on the field and not on paper. The Redskins were no slouchs on offense or defense, Larry Brown was the NFL MVP, Charlie Taylor, Roy Jeffereson and Jerry Smith were the best pass catching trio in the NFL, but the question was could Billy get the ball to them?
The defense held their own holding the high powered Dolphin offense of running backs, Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris and wide receiver the great Paul Warfield to 14 points. The Dolphins keyed their defense on Larry Brown hopping the scattered arm of Billy Kilmer would be out of service. They were right, the Dolphin defensive backs were like traffic cops directing the way to the end zone, but Billy could not get the ball to Charlie, Roy or Jerry who could be seen waving their hands and arms frantically for the ball.
Congratulations to Coach Don Shula a football life well lived RIP, but 14 points would have never have beaten Sonny Jurgensen. Luck can be a Lady!
On the road again Washington, DC’s Finest: Sylvia Williams-Gene Stevens-HB-Petey Greene-Judy Greene-Hattie T and a man of mystery as we prepare to go into L. A. Memorial Stadium for the history making showdown between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. When we arrived back home I discovered our homeboy Marvin Gaye was sitting several rows behind us–loyal to his Redskins.
Judges Luke C. Moore and Harry T. Alexander were real life Super Stars in the Game Called Life and in the criminal justice system. They were risk takers and applied their trade in the DC Superior Court in the District of Columbia. Luke died November 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia he was 70 years old. He died like he lived–helping others. He was raking leaves for a next door neighbor when he had a heart attack. On July 8, 2010 Judge Alexander died in his adopted hometown of Washington, DC. He was 85 years old. They both left vacancies that have yet to be filled. “Here comes the judges” was a familiar cry in my community programs in the Nation’s Capitol.
My work with at-risk children made me a frequent visitor to the DC Superior Court and they were frequents visitors to my community programs. They were led by pioneering Judge Luke Moore, his side-kicks were Chief Judge Harold Greene, Harry T. Alexander and Ted Newman (DC Federal Court). DC Court Judges like, Eugene Hamilton, Henry Kennedy, Jr., Paul Webber and Alex Williams (Md. Federal Court) and William Missouri (Upper Marlboro Court) would join the KIT team after Luke had blazed the trail.
In the 70s and 80s they presided over courtrooms where integrity, and honesty were in high demand. It was there Black residents and minorities were made to feel that there was such a thing as a fair shake and justice for all. Racist and bully cops and attorneys were not welcome in their courtrooms. Judge Alexander had a short fuse for disrespect in his courtroom, he dismissed cops and attorneys from his courtroom who refuse to address defendants as Mr and Mrs.
H. R. Crawford was a friend and former Assistant Secretary of Housing at HUD and long time DC City Councilman. He recalls a case being thrown out of Harry T’s court.
Dr. Willie Jolley has always been a doer. He has not just talked the talk he has walked the walk in his hometown of Washington, DC. He is a product of the DC Public school system graduating from Roosevelt HS. His mother taught for 42 years in the same system. Willie followed in her footsteps and became a substance abuse counselor for the school system. He had a higher calling and became a public speaker. Willie is a rare breed of men from the inner-city, he is armed with common sense-street sense and book sense These three tools are difficult to find in brothers and sisters who have lived on the fringes of all three boundaries. He knows how to play the game with the best of them. His comfort zone has no limitations when it comes to people, walking into a boardroom in Silicon Valley would be no different from him taking a walk on Hanover Street in “The Hood” in NW DC.
You would think he grew up in a Boy Scout troop whose motto was “Be Prepared”. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Faith-Driven Achievement from the California Graduate School of Theology, a master’s degree in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from American University. Willie understood the DNA of being Black in America, so he decided to be prepared and make it difficult for the system to say ‘NO’ and when they did say no he kept saying, ‘Yes I can.’ His best selling book “It Only Takes a Minute to Change Your Life” he talks about turning failure into success–failure is only a mindset. My favorite nugget, “A Setback Is A Setup For A Comeback” been there and done that!
Make no mistake about it, Dr. Willie Jolley is comfortable in his skin. For example, in April 2012 I found him holding court on a bright sunshiny day in front of the landmark Howard Theatre in Washington, DC. The theatre was having “Open House” after decades of lights out. It was a Who’s Who (old-timers and hustlers) hanging out to see who they could see and maybe get to take a tour of the theatre before the Grand Opening for DC’s movers and shakers (politicians and wannabes) arrived. As I approached the group Willie spotted me and yelled: “Here comes my hero.” He disarmed me completely, all I could say was, “How in the hell are you, Dr. Jolley”? His greeting was just saying, ‘Be nice Harold Bell.’
I didn’t understand the greeting until I saw my old friend TV 4 anchorman Jim Vance standing across the street with a cameraman covering the opening. Jim and I had not spoken in two-decades. To my surprise he would leave his cameraman to say hello. For two guys who had been inseparable in the community since his arrival from Philadelphia in 1968–this was a reunion of two. The conversation was short and to the point, “Hey man lets do lunch call me”! My wife Hattie was elated when I came home and said, “Guess who I saw today?” She was fond of Jim. The late Pete Wysocki (Redskins), Hattie T and Jim at my annual Kids In Trouble Celebrity Fashion Show.
I remember Hattie having an appointment at Sibly Hospital in Georgetown and I suggested after her appointment we should stop and holler at Jim since we were in the neighborhood. I was thinking we could “Kill two birds with one stone” confirm a date for lunch and I would get a face to face with Jim for the first time in 20 years. The receptionist asked if Jim was expecting us and I said, “Just tell him its Hattie and Harold Bell”, several minutes later he came through the glass door with that award-winning smile hugged Hattie and we shook hands. We spent about 15 minutes talking about nothing and we finally got around to making a date for lunch at a seafood restaurant on K Street NW. I called the day before to remind him and he said, “Everything was still Go”. The next morning his assistant called and said Jim had to cancel and he would re-schedule. I think Jim wanted to say, “Harold Bell thanks for saving my life” but he didn’t know how–five years later he was dead (Gone too soon).
Jim and I are seen here being mentors to inner-city youth at the Roy Jefferson (NFL) reading center on K Street in NW DC Jim and I were tennis partners and he could often be found participating in my annual Inside Sports Celetbrity Tennis Tournament.
I remember hanging out with my Spingarn HS teammates on the weekends in front of the Howard Theatre before Willie Jolly was born. I was just a nobody trying to be somebody, but those were definitely “The Good Old Days”, thanks to gentrification and the Pandemic Coronavirus I will never see those days again in my lifetime.
There are many motivational speakers, and then there is one, the one and only, the incomparable Dr. Willie Jolley. He has been described as a world-class, award-winning speaker and singer, businessman best-selling author and media personality, he is armed and dangerous to negativity in our community. He keeps hope alive!
Dr. Jolley uses his public platform to pursue his mission of empowering and encouraging people to rise above their circumstances and maximize their God-given potential! Many know him as the speaker Ford Motor Company called on when they were on the brink of bankruptcy. His work helped Ford reject a government bailout and go on to earn a billion dollars in profits!
Dr. Willie Jolley has achieved remarkable heights in the speaking industry, having come from humble beginnings as a fired singer, who was replaced by a karaoke machine! He has gone on to be named “One of the Outstanding Five Speakers in the World” by the 175,000 members of Toastmasters International, inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame and achieved the distinction of Certified Speaker Professional by the Nation Speaker Association. He’s the recipient of the Ron Brown Distinguished Leadership Award, named “One of the Top 5 Leadership Speakers” by Speaking.com and Business Leader of The Year by The African American Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Jolley has inspired me in all my walks of life. He has been there to support me in my community endeavors, radio sports talk shows and my recent documentary “I Remember Muhammad Ali.” In 1974 Ali beat the undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world, George Forman–he stunned the world. Ali had promised me in Chicago that after he beat Foreman I would be the first to interview him on his arrival back in the U. S.–he kept his word.
It took me 45 years to get the exclusive one on one interview to the big screen. The Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill 45 years after the fact would be the host (November 1974-November 2019). Dr. Jolly and his wife Dee were front and center.
Dr. Jolley has built a reputation of being captivating, compelling and life-changing! No matter the venue, from his Dr. Willie Jolley’s Wealthy Ways podcast on iHeart Radio to his SiriusXM Radio show, to his audiences like Walmart, Comcast, Verizon, Marriott or The Million Dollar Round Table, Dr. Jolley keeps it moving with high energy, high content and great enthusiasm. He delivers memorable nuggets and usable strategies on how every person can live a better life, one day at a time!
His latest challenge could be his most difficult and inspiring. His new recording “We’ll Get Through This” could surely uplift the entire country. The song hits home along with a great video that shows the heroes and sheroes, the first responders, and family keeping hope alive for their loved ones with as much tender loving care as possible. I start my day with this inspiring song. The first thing I open up on my computer each morning “We’ll Get Through This”.
Willie Jolley has also written a popular new marriage book, co-authored with his wife of over 33 years, Dee Taylor-Jolley. The book’s title, Make Love, Make Money, Make It Last!
HB, Hattie, Dee, and Willie at our home in Suitland, Maryland keeping hope and love alive during these difficult times hoping and praying, “We’ll Get Through This.”
Noteworthy: see Black Men in America.com / Face Book LIVE on Friday-Saturday and Sundays from 9 pm until 11 pm for the Legends of Inside Sports Uncut / You Tube Channel Harold Bell’s Inside Sports-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAZVZjGeYpY
Tim Baylor standing proudly in front of one of his McDonald’s franchised restaurants in Minnesota and Tim with wife Doris. He is like so many black athletes as soon as they get two-dollars more than family and friends and gain a little fame, they forget who they are and where they came from. Tim is like many that came through Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports–lost of memory.
Tim Baylor, a Morgan State bear who slept and hibernated his whole adult life away living the good life forgetting family and friends!
He grew up on 12th Street, NW in the heart of the inner-city. He was caught between Cardozo High School and Ben’s Chili Bowl and a five-minute walk from his house to Harris playground and the Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program. I found the program in 1968 after the riots had almost destroyed DC. His mom and dad were two jewels. They loved me, Mrs. Baylor always had a kind word, Mr. Baylor was a man of few words or no words.
Tim talks with neighborhood youth two blocks from where he grew up on the U Street NW corridor (Washington Star newspaper)Santa’s helper Tim Baylor helps me distribute toys during Kids In Trouble annual toy party at the J. W. Marriott in Arlington, VirginiaTim Baylor, Godmother holding my Goddaughter Amber, Mrs. Baylor, me and his wife Doris.
I encouraged Tim to come back home and enhance the growth of kids in his old neighborhood in the U Street NW corridor, during and after the NFL. He moved to Minnesota and never looked back or came back when it really made a difference. Tim Baylor modeling in one of my Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Shows at the Chapter II night club in SW DC
Tim receiving the Kids In Trouble Community Service Award during the Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Show at the Grand Hyatt in downtown DC. Calvalier’s Mens CLothing store owner Norman Orleans makes presentation. I kept Tim in the community spotlight to inspire other youth, but he dropped the ball.
I was the wide receiver coach for Cardozo High School in the 1967-68-69 football seasons. Head coach Bob Headen recruited me and several other minor league football players to help him coach the Clerks. The Virginia Sailors was a super talented minor league team for the Washington Redskins. We won several minor league championships. We were the talk of the town and not the Washington Redskins they could not win a game.
Virginia Sailor teammates, John Cash, Bob Headen and me celebrate our first minor league football championship in Reston, Virginia.
Virginia Sailors celebrate again in Ladd Stadium, in Mobile Alabama. I am No. 82
I am telling Sailor QB John Thomas (No. 12), “I am open man just throw me the dam ball.” John reminded me of Russell Wilson (NFL).
My best catch at Cardozo was the swimming coach Hattie Thomas my future wife.
Tim was a decent wide-receiver for the Cardozo football team. He had a decent pair of hands but was slow of foot. He ran great passing routes which made up for his lack of speed (much like me). I made him understand that the wide-receiver always had the advantage over the defensive back. The reason, the defensive back had to guess where the wide-receiver was going, being able to run great pass routes would be a nightmare for any defensive back. I learned to run pass patterns from watching the great Baltimore Colt wide receiver Ray Berry. He had one leg shorter than the other.
Tim’s NFL career was limited after “The Ghost to the Post” mistake in 1977. The Colts let him go and he was picked up by the Minnesota Vikings. He played two-years for them and retired at the ripe old age of 26! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPIGg6iu80E
A lot of credit for Tim making the Colt’s roster goes to the assistant coach who saw he stood 6’6 and had a decent pair of hands and his long frame would an asset. He moved him to nickel-back and defensive safety. Today he is still the tallest defensive back to ever play in the NFL, but “The Ghost to the Post” will be his NFL claim to fame. All-Pro TE Dave Casper caught three TDs in that conference championship game. The biggest catch was made against Tim Baylor with 2:17 seconds left in the game. The Colts were leading 31-24 when All-Pro QB Ken “The Snake” Stabler threw a third-down pass to Casper behind Tim for a gain of 42 yards and a first down. Casper would later catch a 10 yard TD in the left corner of the end zone to send the game into double overtime. The defending World Champions would win 37-31. It was one of the best playoff games I have ever witness. Tim has nothing to be ashamed of Stabler and Casper are both in the NFL Hall of Fame (he is to-on tape).
The key is how he played The Game Called Life before and after the NFL–Life is the most important game being played in the world today!
First, you must remember Tim Baylor’s story is similar to the Sugar Ray Leonard story. He was also the benefactor of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports (Harrison Rec, Hillcrest Sat. Program and Cardozo HS football team). Much like Ray, I remember when he didn’t have two-pennies to rub together.
When Tim moved his family to Minnesota my Goddaughter Amber was two or three years old. He told Thurston McLain one of his childhood friends and another benefactor of KIT, “Harold never comes to see his Goddaughter!” The reason I never came to see my Goddaughter was because of the logistics (1100 miles from DC to Minnesota). He was talking as if they were still living in Baltimore (30 miles away). I asked Thurston, ‘Why didn’t he call me with his concerns?’ Thurston just shook his head!
Tim would bring his family to DC to visit his parents. I would be the last to know. When I was in the neighborhood I would stop by his parents’ house. His mom would often say, “You just missed Tim he was here last week.”
I would hear through “The Grapevine” how successful he had become as a businessman/entrepreneur (he owns several McDonald’s Restaurants, real estate holdings, etc). Politics was his other game to include, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, and he made an unsuccessful run for Lt. Governor.
Man, that is a success story in anyone’s lifetime, especially, a brother from ‘The Hood’. Somewhere along the way, he fell short of becoming a MAN!
The family should always be first, Tim never made his brother Sonny or Sonny’s three sons, Andre, Greg and Lorenzo, first. All three young men were outstanding student/athletes. They all played for one of my mentees, Coach Robert Richards at Cardozo High School. Coach Richards started his coaching career at Harrison Playground and the Hillcrest Saturday Program (my domain). His uncle Earl Richards is one of the greatest all-around athletes in DC sports history. Earl was one of my early heroes (Parkside Housing projects). We later became teammates on the Virginia Sailors.
Earl Richards No. 50 was a player/coach for the Sailors and he was definitely ahead of his time (NFL Center/LB). No 28 Mike Summer played for Wilson High School, and George Washington University. He was drafted as an RB in the second round by the Washington Redskins.
The Baylor family foundation was laid by Mr. and Mrs. Baylor, Sonny and Tim’s father and mother. It was nothing unusual to see Grand Dad and Grand Mother sitting in the Cardozo stands watching their grandchildren play. Uncle Tim was nowhere to be found during their entire high school football life at his alma mater. All three were outstanding and intelligent athletes (QBs) and all three graduated from high school. Andre graduated from Cheney State University and came back home to teach and coach. Greg attended Virginia Union University for a couple of years and was the starting QB before coming back home to take a job with the Alexandria Fire Department. KIT alumnus Captain Thurston McLain led him to this job opportunity, its called reaching back. Lorenzo got caught up in the bright lights of street life (drugs) and served time in jail, but has since got his life together and the last I heard he was working two jobs.
I remember Lorenzo’s trials and tribulations with drugs, Leo Hill was Sonny’s brother-in-law. Leo brought to my attention that family members were trying to get in touch with Tim to help get Lorenzo out of jail, but I was no help. There was no response from Tim, except a rumor, he said, “If he did the crime, he must do the time!”
Andre’s success as a student/athlete was the crown jewel of the neighborhood. Growing up he spent much of his time between Harrison Playground and the Hillcrest Saturday Program. He decided to attend McKinley Tech but transferred to Cardozo when Robert Richards became the head football coach. In 1997 Andre was an assistant football coach at John Carroll HS while playing pick-up basketball he had a heart attack and died. He was 29-years old. Tim came home for the funeral.
Lacey O’Neal was a sprinter on the 1964 Summer Olympic team. She competed in the 80-meter hurdles and spoke out against the proposed boycott of the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos made the games forever memorable when they went to the podium barefooted to accept their medals, they raised their black-gloved fist in the air to protest racism in America. They were banished from the Olympic Village but became and still are heroes in Black America. A statue of their likeness holding black fisted gloves in the air can now be found on the campus of their alma mater, San Jose University in California.
In 1998 Lacey O’Neal brought to my attention while she was attending a tribute for pro athletes in New Jersey Tim Baylor gave her some “Fake News” out of the blue. He told her and I quote, “You know Harold Bell has been stealing money from the kids.” For the past 22 years he has since been traveling from Minnesota to DC under a cover of darkness making sure he is not in my space. He travels with a group of chicken kiss-ass cheerleaders running the point for him with pom-poms under their coats ready to cheer at any given moment he comes into their space in DC.
What really pissed me off with Tim making a statement like that was he has never made a donation or brought a toy, send a kid to camp or college, the entire time he was associated with Kids In Trouble. I never received a grant or loan from anyone in the 45 year lifetime of my non-profit organization.
I worked as a Roving Leader (DC Department of Recreation) and use my salary I received playing for the Virginia Sailors to help pay for the trips out of town to the John Chaney & Sonny Hill’s basketball camp in Philly, to Bighouse Gaines & Earl Monroe’s basketball camp on the campus of my college alma mater, Winston-Salem State University (HBCU). Cathy Hughes and her son Alfred (TV One) was also a benefactors of those camps and Nike apparel. My Christmas toy parties had Santa’s Helpers with names like Zack, Philadephia Jake, Dog Turner, Slippery Jackson, Black Danny, Cornell, and Nook. The one donation Kids In Trouble did receive was when Redskin running back Larry Brown was named the MVP in the NFL in 1972. He appeared on the NBC Bob Hope Comedy Hour and Hope presented him with a $5,000 check earmarked for a charity of his choice. His choice was the Kids In Trouble Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program. Hillcrest was controlled by Children’s Hospital and they put the check in their general fund and I or the kids never saw a penny. Could that be the money I stole?
KIT ANNUAL TOY PARTY: Johnny Sample (NFL), Inside Sports producer Rodney Brown and Santa’s Helper Philadelphia Jake.
I have been trying to catch up with Tim Baylor for 22 years to get him to verify whose money I was stealing! I would like to be a fly on the wall when he tries to explain this blog to his children, my Goddaughter Amber and his son Justin and their children. I am told Amber is an attorney and Justin is expected to take over the family business. When it comes to the community and reaching back to help family and the down-trodden, I hope they don’t follow in their father’s footsteps. I am known and read around the globe so they will eventually see this blog somewhere in their travels.
I guess once he grows up and becomes the MAN his parents raised him to be–he will give me a call, but I am not holding my breath. There is too much Sugar Ray Leonard in him and too many of his ass-kissing blocking cheerleaders running interference. Hillcrest legends starting 5 Johnny Robinson, Michael G, Tyrone Shorter and DC Playground Legend, Tracy Robinson the leader of the pack.Tim’s little sister Cathy is the cheerleader in the center at Community Day at the Hillcrest Saturday Program. The program was a Family Affair.
In the meantime, the success stories that have come off of Harrison Playground and out of the Saturday Program read like a Who’s Who, Thurston McLain, (Captain Alexandria Fire Department), Coach Robert Richards (winner of DC Public HS football championship 1996), Tracy Robinson (playground basketball legend), Lonnie Taylor (the first black chief of staff for a white Congressman on The Hill), and the dozens of Harrison Elementary School, Harrison Playground and Hillcrest Saturday Program participants who went to become decent human beings. Neighborhood boy who made good, Ricky Williams is now a Minister and has been active in the community reaching back to help those who lost their way (homeless, incarceration, drugs, etc. Evelyn Cureton was a Saturday Program participant and she now has her Masters Degree in Psychology. They both were instrumental in assisting me in completing my Muhammad Ali documentary. The documentary made its debut on the big screen on November 24, 2019 at the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill, 45 years after the Ali Rumble in the Jungle interview in 1974. Billy ‘Buck’ Johnson a member of the Hillcrest football and basketball teams ran afoul of the court system, but turned his life around and is working for the DC Central Food Kitchen feeding the hungry and homeless for the past six-years. I thank all of them for reaching back on this day (April 4th) marking the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of our Prince of Peace–Dr. Martin Luther King.
Harlem Globe Trotters Leaping Jackie Jackson, Curly Neal and I smile for the cameras in Landover, Maryland after show at the Capitol Centre.
I remember my favorite Harlem Globetrotter and my favorite country western singer, Curly Neal and Kenny Rogers were performing in almost the same zip code on the same day in April 1988. The Globetrotters were performing in Baltimore that afternoon and Kenny Rogers would perform 35 miles south later that night at the Capitol Centre in Landover, Maryland. Curly and I had talked several days before his arrival in the area and he wanted to know if I was coming to Baltimore for the game and how many tickets would I need? I explained to him Kenny Rogers was in town performing that night at the Capitol Centre. Hattie and I had made plans to attend his concert. We were big country music fans and Kenny was one of our favorites. Curly asked if I had I purchased my tickets yet, and I said, “No”. His response was, ‘Kenny is my man, don’t do anything until you hear from me’!
Curly got back to me the next morning saying, “I got us tickets to the Kenny Rogers show, our game in Baltimore starts at 1:00 pm and the concert in Landover is at 8:00 pm. I will meet you and Hattie at the box office around 7:30 pm.”
Hattie and I wore cowboy hats and boots to the concert that night. Curly could not stop laughing when he saw us. He was signing autographs when we arrived. His bald head made it easy for him to be recognized as Curly Neal of the Harlem Globetrotters. He was surrounded by some Good Old Boys and their cowgirls. Curly is second only to Muhammad Ali as the most recognized personality in the world.
The concert was a sellout and I don’t remember seeing anyone else who was black like me. We had a great time and when the show was over one of Kenny’s reps came to our seats and escorted us backstage to meet the star of the show. Kenny and Curly hugged like old friends. The two met in Kenny’s hometown of Houston, Texas in the 70s at a Harlem Globetrotter game. Curly introduce me and Hattie to Kenny. We shook hands and the next thing out of Kenny’s mouth was, “Curly where is your dam cowboy hat” before Curly could respond the rep had disappeared and came back with a brand new brown cowboy hat in a box. The smile on Curly’s face was priceless.
Curly wanted to hang out after the show and get something to eat. Hattie begged off and I took her home. Curly and I went into DC to Face’s Restaurant an in-crowd hangout on Georgia Avenue NW. They served great chicken and fish.
I dropped Curly off at the Grand Hyatt in DC around midnight. The next day I would get this frantic telephone call from Curly in Hampton, he wanted to know where was his hat that Kenny had given him at the concert. I had no clue, and he was not sure whether he had left it in my car and neither was I. I told him I would get back to him after I checked the car.
The hat was found in the back seat of the car. I called Curly with the good news, but his response left me dumbfounded. He wanted me to drive to Hampton and bring him his hat. I said, “No way Jose”! I told him I would put the hat in the mail for him at his next stop on tour, but he insisted. I refused to drive the three hours down to Hampton and back to DC to deliver a hat. We almost fell out about that hat. My brother-in-law Charles Thomas lll saved the day. Hattie reminded me he was home on spring break and was headed back to Hampton later that day.
I called Charles and asked him to deliver the hat to Curly–he said no problem. When he arrived back on campus he called Curly and identified himself as my brother-in-law and he had a package for him. For some reason only known to Curly, he cussed Charles out and demanded he bring his hat to the coliseum immediately. Charles was without transportation he asked his friend Rodney to drive him to the coliseum to meet this Curly Neal someone he had once looked up to. He arrived at the coliseum and was made to wait for 30 minutes. Finally, a Harlem Globetrotter rep was sent out to retrieved the hat–denying Charles an opportunity to ask him what was his problem? In a conversation with Curly the next day, he had a lost of memory and asked me to apologize to Charles if it really happen!
Kenny Rogers died on March 20, 2020 in Sandy Springs, Georgia. He was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Curly Neal died in Houston, Texas six days later on March 26, 2020. Curly was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. He was an All-CIAA Conference player at Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte, NC. Curly and Kenny will meet somewhere in the sky, it will be a cowboy with a guitar and a magician with a basketball.
It has been almost 10 years since Washington DC City Paper columnist Dave McKenna wrote, “Black History Mouth–Harold Bell, this sports legend still won’t kiss your ass.” Dave thought if I would be a little more diplomatic and suck up to super-stars who came through me before their 15 minutes of fame, the sky would be the limit. There were local personalities like John Thompson, Sugar Ray Leonard, James Brown, Dave Bing, Adrian Dantley, Cathy Hughes, and Doug Williams to name just a few. There were also super-stars, Jim Brown, and Don King, they had to turn to me for support when they ran afoul of the law, media, etc. There were many on the outside looking in claiming I didn’t know my price!
Before McKenna, Muhammad Ali’s Business Manager Gene Kilroy said, “Harold if you had been white you would have been a millionaire and they would have been calling Howard Cosell the black Harold Bell”.
Native Washingtonian the late legendary sports columnis Dick Heller and I congratulate the late great Willie Wood on his induction into the 1989 NFL Hall of Fame. Dick and I successfuly campaigned for Willie’s induction. He was the glue and leader of those great Green Bay Packer Super Bowl teams that dominated the NFL in the 60s. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi called Willie his coach on the field.
Before McKenna, Muhammad Ali’s Business Manager Gene Kilroy said, “Harold if you had been white you would have been a millionaire and they would have been calling Howard Cosell the black Harold Bell”.
“Harold Bell is a unique sportscaster, former athlete, youth leader and social critic all rolled into one.” William aaffe, (Sports lllustrated Magazine)
J. D. Bethea sports columnist for the Washington Star-News said, “Harold Bell may be the only black guy who 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 singlemindedness of purpose, Bell would probably be dangerous.” I always knew, but I refused to play.
God deserves all the credit and my savior Spingarn High School coach, Dave Brown. I was trying to go to hell in a hurry. When everyone else gave up on me he didn’t.
Coach Brown passed me on down to Tobacco Road to the legendary coach, Clarence Bighouse Gaines at Winston-Salem State UniversityHe was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and in 2004 in Chicago I was honored with the first ever Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines Community Service Award. Two Bulls born May 21st.
NBA legend Red Auerbach and Boxing legend (Big Dogs), Muhammad Ali are two of the Greatest of all-time, they are legends of Inside Sports!
Thanks to, Muhammad Ali, Richard Nixon, Red Auerbach, Angelo Dundee, and Bert Sugar, there was no need for me to learn to play the game. My game was to help to enhance the lives of inner-city kids. These real super-stars made this former resident of a one-room shack with an outhouse more than just a local yokel (homeboy). Running with “The Big Dogs” was a Rite of Passage for me. They became my friends and allowed me to ride on their shirttails with no strings attached.
There is little doubt I am the most influential sports talk show host of the 21st Century. The Inside Sports talk show format changed the way we talk sports in America and around the globe. Inside Sports was the first sports talk show to blend sports/politics, convened the first media roundtable, played message music, and the first to write commentaries. Further proof, ‘The Greatest’ Muhammad Ali made me “The Chosen One”.
Dr. Harry Edwards said in reference to my pioneering Inside Sports talk radio format, “Harold, congratulations, your archives are valuable and should be given the broadest possible exposure. Your discs and videos of your programs belong in the new Smithsonian Institution of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A wing of the new museum will be dedicated to the struggle in sports and will be titled “Leveling the Playing Field”. Your work was a major force over the years in leveling the playing field, especially in terms of the struggle to define and project ‘Our Truth!’
I thank Muhammad Ali, Red Auerbach, Bert Sugar, Angelo Dundee, Dave Brown, Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines, Willie Wood, Curly Neal, Jackie Jackson, sports comlunist, J. D. Bethea, and Dick Heller for making it possible for me to run with “The Big Dogs-RIP!”