photo by Fred Shepard
L-R Hattie and I during the screening of “We Remember Muhammad Ali” on the big screen at the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill June 4th. The debut made us the first husband and wife team to produce Muhammad Ali on the big screen. Next photo celebrating her 80th Birthday July 6th.
I remember decades ago my Spingarn High School Coach Dave Brown explained to me the difference between chickens, turkeys, and Eagles. Unbeknownst to me, I had just encountered a group of chickens and turkeys during a high school hall of fame induction banquet. The DC Coaches Association was honoring DC High School Coaches in 1976. The banquet was being held at the Fountain Blue Banquet Hall in Prince Georges County, Coach Brown was an inductee.
The chickens, turkeys and the Usual Suspects were all high school coaches, teachers and administrators in the DC Public School system (they all know who they are). Decades later, little has changed.
This group of men and women were entrusted with leading and showing our children how to be responsible and caring adults—not to be envious and jealous player-haters like most of them. Leading the group were the Usual Suspects, Spingarn High School coaches the late Frank Parks, John Wood, and my friend Cardozo/HD Woodson coach Bob Headen.
Coach Dave Brown (hat in hand) and his staff. L-R: Community volunteer, Mr. Chisholm, coaches, Roper McNair, and Ray Hammond.
Coach Brown who was a little under the weather had asked me if I would accept the induction award in his place—no problem. My wife Hattie a former teacher in the system was by my side during the awards ceremony. When it came time to accept the award on behalf of Coach Brown I was told by Mr. Parks I could not accept the award. He did so without explanation, but while walking away he said, “Your wife can accept”. I just looked at him and smiled! Hattie accepted the award.
On my next visit to see Coach Brown at his home in NE DC to give him his award, I told him about the action and position taken by the DC Coaches Association. He chuckled and reminded me that I would be encountering numerous chickens and turkeys in my life time. He said, “Son your best bet is to fly like an Eagle above the clouds and avoid them”.
Still, I was so what surprised by the chickens and turkeys that I would encounter in the Game Called Life. During my playing days as an all-around athlete at Spingarn High School, I thought I was the straw that stirred the drink. Whenever I was on the field of play (Football, basketball, and baseball) I thought I was the best until the guy in front of me proved me wrong. I never saw a football I could not catch, a basketball I could not shoot or a base I could not steal. I play the Game of Life the same way–to win and not at all cost!
When the game was in doubt I wanted the ball and this kept me in hot water with my teammates and coaches. Head Coach Dave Brown was the exception he looked the other and kept calling my number. He did put his foot down in a game against our rival Phelps Vocational High School to let me know he was still in charge. Phelps was our next door neighbor on “Education Hill”, located at 24th & Benning Road in NE DC.
We were playing Phelps at Eastern High School on a Friday evening. The game was important for us to win and maintane our hold on first place in the division. The score was tied 0-0 headed into half-time with 30 seconds left on the clock. The ball was in our possession in the Red Zone and Coach Brown called my number. QB Donald Wills hit me with a perfectly timed down and out pass for the score, but I was off-side. I jumped before the ball was snapped and the play was nullified. As we were headed toward the bus for a half-time chat I verbally beat up my QB blaming him for not calling the signals loud enoug for me to hear. I had no clue Coach Brown had heard my verbal beat down of my teammate.
On the bus, he went over some of the mistakes we made in the first half and then asked me what happen on the touchdown that was called back? My feeble defense, “Wills was not calling the signals loud enough for me to hear”! Coach’s response was short and quick, he said, “Son your position on the field as a wide receiver allows you to look down the line and watch for the snap of the ball”. It was so quiet it seems like everyone was holding their breath waiting to exhale. Coach broke the silence with, “Bell you keep your seat here on the bus son, and we will try to win this one without you”! I could not believe my ears, he said, “Win without me”. I could not wait to see this happen.
The scene on the bus reminded me years later when Denzel Washington played a crooked cop in his Academy Award winning performance in “Training Day”. I wish I could have told Coach what Denzel told the residents in the Hood he patroled after they refused to assist him and held him at gun point until his righteous partner got out the Hood safely. He said to the residents, “Do you know who the f–k I am, I am the police”. I look back thinking that is what I felt like saying to Coach Brown when he locked me on the bus, “Do you know who the f–k I am, I am the best wide receiver on the planet”. My dumb ass would have been walking back to Spingarn. By the way, they won without me 6-0. Wills ran a punt back 63 yards to win the game. I had to suck up my pride and apologize to the coaching staff and my teammates for my selfish and bad behavior. It was a lesson that was well learned—proving no man is truly and Island.
QB Donald Wills and me, Donald was the best all-around athlete on the football, basketball and baseball teams in 1957. In memory, Melvin ‘Weasel,’ Jackson (Phelps) was a close second.
I think back to that moment at the DC Coaches Association Banquet, Bob Headen, Frank Parks, John Wood, and the Usual Suspects, out of all of them Headen should have known better. Parks and Woods were two nobodies trying to be somebody. I remember I was also critical of the coaches’ banquet being held in PG County instead of Washington, DC home of our public schools.
Headen and I had a long and storied sports history. We both were outstanding all-around athletes and rivals in high school. That rivary continued at HBCU schools, Winston-Salem State and St. Agustine Universities. After college, our sports history brought us back to our hometown of DC. We were teammates on the most successful and celebrated minor league football team to ever play in the Nation’s Capitol–the Virginia Sailors ( affiliate of the Washington Redskins).
John Cash, Bob Headen and me celebrating a Sailors’ championship win in Mobile, Ala.
During that Virginia Sailors era, Headen became the head football coach of Cardozo High School and I became a Roving Leader for the Department of Recreation & Parks (Youth Gang Task Force). Headen recruited several teammates on the Sailor team as assistants for his high school team and I was one of them.
In the meantime, I was recruiting my wife Hattie a teacher and swimming coach at the school to say “I do” and to be my lawful bride. We were married in November 1968 shortly after the riots nearly destroyed DC.
As Wide Receiver coach for the 1970 West All-Star Team. Here I am showing and telling DC Public High School All-Stars, Wilson’s Wagner and Cardozo’s Stovall to catch ball in your hands and not their chest.
Alethia McCauley a teacher at Cardozo and Bob were married shortly after us. I was named the Godfather of their first born, Robert Headen, Jr. After the Sailors, Bob and I would become teammates on a touch football team calling themselves Bergman’s Laundry (sponsors). The team would become one of the most feared in the Montgomery County Touch Football League.
In 1972 Bob would leave Cardozo and continue his legendary football coaching career at the brand new HD Woodson High School in NE DC. In 1974 I became the first black to produce and host his own radio sports talk radio show in Washington, DC. “Inside Sports” aired on W-O-O-K Radio. The Inside Sports format changed the way we talk and report sports in America. Bob would develop a powerhouse football team at HD Woodson. His players were bigger than the NFL Washington Redskins and some thought they were better. In some circles, they were known as “The Monsters of the Inter-High” as they ran through and over the competition.
There was one game that got my attention and I found it rather disturbing; HD Woodson was at least 60 players strong against a Phelps team who had less than 20 players in uniform. When the final whistle was blown Bob still had his starters on the field. The final score was HD Woodson 90 and Phelps 7. I found this unacceptable coming from my friend and teammate. What ever happen to sportsmanship and fair play taught by our coaches, Sal Hall, and Dave Brown?
The next day I called him out on my radio sports talk show “Inside Sports” for setting a bad example as a teacher and coach of young men. This was definitely over kill! He called me and ask for equal time to explain his position and reason for having his starters still in the game until the final whistle. I granted him equal time and his rationale to this day still makes no sense. He said, “I wanted my team to become the first DC Public High School to score 100 points against an opponent”! I would guess the snub at the coaches banquet was his and the Usual Suspects’ revenge!
Let me name some of the local yokels who became chickens and turkeys in aphabetical order who have flowed in my airspace, Tim Baylor (NFL), Dave Bing (NBA), Kevin Blackistone (Washington Post/ESPN), Adrian Branch (NBA/ESPN), James Brown (CBS/NFL), Adrian Dantley (NBA), Cathy Hughes (Urban Radio & TV One), Cornelius Greene (Ohio State), Lamont Jordan (NFL), Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing), Tony Paige (NFL), Donnie Simpson (BET/Urban Radio One), John Thompson (George Thompson), Mike Wilbon (ESPN), etc.
There are a few wannabees who are still hiding in the closet and think they are flying under my radar like Richard Evans and Clement Troutman (frauds).
Richard Evans in-closet con man and fraud
There are so many chickens and turkeys flying in limited air space in the DMV they need a flight plan and an air traffic controller to keep them from colliding in midair.
I thank coach Brown for forewarning me, I learned to fly like an Eagle.
WOW—Thank you Zang Auerbach for making our birthdays one to remember. Zang was a former cartoonist for the Washington Star Newspaper and the brother of our friend NBA legend Red Auerbach.
You can read the complete stories of these chickens and turkeys in my new book titled “Harold Bell’s Walk through American Sports History With Champs & Chumps”. The second edition is ‘The Commemorative 45th Anniversary of The Rumble in the Jungle’ @ http://www.blackmeninamerica.com/ click on Books and Book Reviews.
by Chris Johnson
Hattie T was the first born in Orangeburg, S. C. to Civil Rights icons the late Dr. Charles H. Thomas, Jr. and Elease Thomas. Her mother was a school teacher and her father taught psychology at South Carolina State University. He was also the President of the local chapter of the NAACP and he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King in the early 50s.
This is a faded Christmas card received from Dr. King to the Thomas family during the holidays. Dr. King is seen sitting on the left and Dr. Thomas is seen standing on the right in the home of the Thomas Family.
Dr. Thomas is a graduate of Dunbar High School in Washington, DC
Dr. Thomas coordinated the first ever student-registration drive on the campus of South Carolina State University that quickly spread across the state of South Carolina. He was inducted into the Black South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2007.
In the meantime, his oldest daughter Hattie and her siblings followed him and his wife Elease to the picket lines to protest racial discrimination in the city of Orangeburg.
Dr. Thomas rescuing his children, Hattie T in sun glasses, Reggie and Loretta from the Orangeburg jail.
Hattie is a graduate of Allen University in Orangeburg and received her Masters Degree at Indiana University. She landed her first teaching job in Greensboro, NC at the HBCU Bennett College.
In 1967 she moved to Washington, DC which she considered her second home and accepted a job in the DC Public Schools at Cardozo High School in the NW Shaw/Cardozo community. The school was located several blocks from the historical U Street corridor. Her first teaching assignment—girls swimming coach. It was here she met Civil and Human Rights and youth advocate Harold Bell her future husband. He was volunteering as the wide receiver coach for the Cardozo football team. HB with DC Public School’s Inter-High West All-Stars with show and tell of the proper technique of catching
Top Photo: Hattie with beginners in the Cardozo HS pool and me with Redskins’ RB Larry Brown and the late LB Harold McLinton at the Kids In Trouble Hillcrest Saturday Program. NFL Films/CBS Sports videotape the first ever national television community promo for the NFL. Larry and Harold are seen here teaching water safety to inner-city youth.
Hattie became engaged to Harold shortly before the 1968 riots in April and watched him take to the dangerous streets of DC as a Roving Leader and Youth Gang Task Force member for DC Department of Recreation and Parks. He had nothing but a DC police badge for protection. He was on the streets trying to negotiate peace between the armed cops and military personnel with inner-city residents. Hattie and Harold were married in November 1968 and found Kids In Trouble, Inc. in December. This was just in time for their first ever KIT toy party for elementary school children.
Hattie was there when Harold’s Virginia Sailor football teammate the late George Kelly played the first ever Santa Claus. Redskins’ LB Harold McLinton, LB Dave Robinson and QB Doug Williams would follow his lead.
She was there in 1969 when President Richard M. Nixon invited him to the White House to renew an old friendship established in the late 50s when Harold caddied for him at the Burning Tree Golf Course.
Hattie was there in February 1974 when Harold became the first black to host and produce his own radio sports talk show “Inside Sports” in DC.
NBA legend Red and his lovely wife Dotie were his first high profile in studio guest
She was there in 1974 when Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) read his name into the Congressional Record on the House Floor for his work with youth gangs and at-risk kids on the streets of the inner-city.
She was there when Muhammad Ali woke him up in the middle of the night inviting him to New York City to interview him after he stun the world with his 8th round knockout of George Foreman. She was there when he became the first black to host and produce his own sports television special in prime time on NBC affiliate WRC TV 4 in November 1975. His special guest was Muhammad Ali.
She was there when Washingtonian Magazine honored him as Washingtonian of the Year in 1980. He was the first sportscaster ever honored.
Washingtonians of the Year–QB Joe Theisman and Harold 1980. Kicker Mark Mosley looks on with wives.
She was there on June 4, 2019 as the Executive Producer against all odds for his on screen “We Remember Muhammad Ali”.
Harold and Hattie with friend Victor Perry outside of the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill for the screening of “We Remember Muhammad Ali”.
Happy Birthday to Hattie T. Bell “A Phenomenal Woman” and role model standing by her men, Dr. Charles H. Thomas, Jr. and Harold Bell. Wishing you many more happy birthdays.
Washington Star Sports Media Critic William Taaffe: “Most sports talk shows do not contain intimate bits of verse set to music, as Bell’s show did on WYCB 1340 last week. Let’s say it right at the top: “Inside Sports” is a jewel of a program–easily the most reflective and provocative radio sports talk show in Washington, DC. Its guest actually say something. The other sports talk shows are bland by comparison.”
Bell seen here with co-host NBA legend Red Auerbach. He is the only sports talk show host in the DMV the Washington Post ever featured in two different stories in the same edition June 21, 1989. His sports archives reads like a Who’s Who!
He was the first sports talk show host to be read into the Congressional Record by Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) on the House floor on Capitol Hill in 1974.
He was the first sports talk show host named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine in 1980.
Harold Bell is the only sports talk show host in America to campaign for two pro athletes individually and successfully have them inducted into their hall of fames, Willie Wood (NFL)1989 and Earl Lloyd (NBA) 2003.
FOUR DECADES LATER HAROLD BELL & INSIDE SPORTS ARE STILL NO. 1
Black Men in America.com the on-line magazine is ranked No. 6 among the 50 most read on-line black websites in America. The No. 1 blogger and most popular search engine is HAROLD BELL.
The Top 500 Sites on the Web (African American Communities) Alexa an Amazon Company
Which search keywords send traffic to this site?
Keyword Percent of Search Traffic
1. HAROLD BELL 10.05%
2. african american spending habits 5.62%
3. black consumers 3.97%
4. black yacht club 3.90%
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.
4. Africanamerica.org – Intelligent. Black. Community.
5. Blackmeninamerica.com – Black Men In America.com is one of the most popular online magazines in the country.
6. Cityalert.com – CityAlert.com is one of the leading online destinations for Urban trendsetters.
7. Mybrotha.com – Online magazine dedicated to providing information, education and entertainment resources.
8. Blackvoices.com – African-American community offering news and entertainment and cultural resources.
9. Blackhaven.yuku.com – Online forums dedicated to ETHNO centric discussions of issues pertaining to the African diaspora.
Top Keywords from Search Engines
Which search keywords send traffic to this site?
Keyword Percent of Search Traffic
1. HAROLD BELL 10.05%
2. african american spending habits 5.62%
3. black consumers 3.97%
4. black yacht club 3.90%
5. all in one master tonic 3.38%
REVIEWS: WE REMEMBER MUHAMMAD ALI
The applause and comments of Ali’s family following your Tribute to Muhammad Ali on Tuesday, June 4th marking the 3rd anniversary of his death on June 3rd 2016 are still echoing through my heart on FB. It was one of the most stirring presentations since I been on FB. I am sure that I missed a wonderful evening to be a part of this event. I am more grateful, knowing the sacrifices you made to get to the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill. I am still one of your supporters. Your generosity with your time and compassion is even greater than your eloquence as a Black sports historian in the DMV. Your contributions are priceless! Carl White
Harold, you are creating another, Inside Sports that will live on forever in the DMV. Everyone can learn something from you about Black contribution in sports. Beautiful faces at the Miracle Theatre! Carl White
I KNEW IT WOULD HAPPEN! YOU DESERVE THAT AND MUCH MORE (GOD) KNOWS. THAT’S WONDERFUL! KEEP ON TRUCKIN!!! Mike Govan
Harold that was a beautiful tribute to the people’s champ it was good to see you make it happen. Larry Q Ball Steel
It was a wonderful tribute and evening to The Greatest. / Bernard Wallace
The tribute was a wonderful event/ Sylvia Traymore and Chris Thomas were hilarious!! Dick Smith closeout with My Way was a perfect end to the evening / Gloria Roberts
Much respect for this great moment in memory of a great human being Muhammad Ali put together by Harold Bell and supported by family and friends.360+666 in this realm…****HAM without the pork.. Humam Adulamalik
You are the truth Mr. Bell. Al-Malik Farrakhan
Harold as always you’re keeping our precious community gifts of the past alive less we forget…God Bless You Harold. Darnel Bethell
Thank you Harold as you mentored my Brother Dale and me and countless others…God Bless You Harold thanks always for your kindness your smile for being you….Darnell Bethel
Great event, Harold, and historic. Ali was a great man, and I am looking forward to your documentary. Be blessed and continue to be lead by grace and the Almighty, love you madly. Dick Smith
“I Remember Ali” It was a wonderful event! Homai Maier
“In the 10 years Harold Bell has been writing for Black Men in America no one has ever seriously challenged one of his blogs.” Gary Johnson CEO & Publisher
“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!” Dr. Harry Edwards
TRIBUTE TO MUHAMMAD ALI IN WASHINGTON, DC JUNE 4th
UNVEILED JUNE 6th THE LOUISVILLE MUHAMMAD ALI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Family Historian Keith Winstead with Ali’s wife Lonnie during the celebration of renaming the airport after his cousin Muhammad Ali.
The Tribute to Muhammad Ali on Tuesday, June 4, 2019, marking the 3rd anniversary of his death on June 3rd, 2016 was a smashing success. The Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill hosted the tribute. A near capacity crowd was in attendance as comedians Sylvia Traymore and Chris Thomas provided the laughs and friends and family shared never before heard up close and personal stories of The Greatest. The Courtland Experience provided the LIVE music (bound for late night television). There were video memories by poet Ty Gray-El “Thank You Muhammad Ali”, former NBA Media Relations VP Brian McIntyre recalled his first time meeting the champion face to face and Glenn Singleton a man Ali designated as his “Best Fan” recalled how he was chosen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_uxe5gvEaM%2F
The laugh machines-MC Comedians Sylvia Traymore and Chris Thomas
“We are Family Clay”-Lyle and Leontyne Peck-Sonny Fishback-Jesse Alexander-Keith Winstead-Glenn Singleton
Keith Winstead is the Family Historian, he traveled from Louisville, Kentucky and Genealogist Leontyne Clay Peck, came from Charlottesville, Virginia. They are Ali’s first cousins. Leontyne summed of the feelings of the family when she said, “It was a wonderful evening we feel so blessed that we were part of this beautiful event. We had a great time!! Also, remember that Ali’s other family surname is Greathouse. Isn’t it interesting that the word Great is even in his name! All praise to The Highest and the ancestors for bringing us together.” Vocalist Dick Smith has been the host of the Westminister Presbyterian Church jazz show for the past two decades. He closed out the evening on the appropriate note with the classic by the legendary vocalist Frank Sinatra, ‘My Way.’ He brought the house down. Long live Ali! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IA3ZvCkRkQ%2F Muhammad Ali this is for you.
Keith, Glenn Singleton, and Ali childhood friend, Sonny Fishback all drove to Louisville the next morning where the city named the airport after The Greatest. Despite this great evening and Ali having the Louisville airport named after him, it makes me wonder why are we in 2019 still blaming others for our problems? Without a doubt, there is racism all around us in all colors shapes and forms. How is it the Jewish, Asian and now the Hispanic community is able to pull together to enhance the growth of their people, but we are still acting like crabs in the barrel?
DC’s Dotie Wade hanging out with the Clay Crew at the Miracle Theatre
Muhammad Ali is looking down and shaking his head as we allow liars, cheats, and pimps in the pulpit to build mega-churches and go to the bank and we go back to the ghetto, to jail or worst. We built this country and the 1% are treating us like immigrants. The frauds in our community are becoming millionaires, having buildings named after them (John Thompson and Cathy Hughes). Blacks in media like Bruce Johnson, Sam Ford, Leon Harris, Winston Martin are jokes. They are the bearers of Fake News or no News when it comes to the black community. Some are passing for white and sometimes black (Rock Newman).
Despite the thick cloud of racism that hangs over this country I am going to continue to live by a phrase that I coined in 1974 to close my radio sports talk show, “Every black face I see is not my brother and every white face I see is not my enemy!” It was a tough lesson to learn but a valuable one.
This brings me to what is the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) and what are they good for? Minister Louis Farrakhan called them a bunch of Uncle Toms working in White media at their convention in 2007. It was so quiet in the hall you could have heard a mouse piss on cotton. In DC there are known pedophiles like Armstrong Williams and sex molesters like Rock Newman who have their own weekly television shows.
The faces of television news, a pedephile, a theft, a liar, and a sex molester.
Read all about it! / https://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/news/loose-lips/article/21062654/rock-newman-sued-for-reaching-into-a-womans-dress-and-unzipping-it-on-stage
In my 1974 interview with Muhammad Ali, I asked him how he distinquished who his real friends were. In my life’s experience I found my friends to be like my shadow. They are with me as long as I am in the sun but disappear when I cross into the shade. His response, “A friend is someone who is always giving and never expecting anything in return.”
This brings me to my friends who I have given and to those have never given anything, not a toy, book, camp or an education for a child; I gave John Thompson 5 minutes every Monday to promote Georgetown basketball on Inside Sports when he could not win a game. I gave Sugar Ray Leonard an opportunity to regain his self-esteem when he didn’t have two pennies to rub together. I gave and provided James Brown a platform to propel him into a CBS/NFL studio host. I gave Washington Post/ESPN Mike Wilbon a shoulder to cry on when he was an upstart at the Washington Post. I gave NBA Hall of Fame player Dave Bing a hard time on the playgrounds of DC to help prepare him for the NBA, I acted as Cathy Hughes and her son Alfred’s “Big Brother” when they needed one. I gave 20 more years of television news life to the late Jim Vance. I gave NBA Hall of Fame player Adrian Dantley the 411 concerning his agent David Falk. Falk had ciphered several million dollars from his account without his knowledge.
I gave QB Doug Williams a community platform before his MVP performance in the 1988 Super Bowl. When NFL great Jim Brown was given a jail sentence for domestic abuse he didn’t call Ghost Busters to get him out of jail he called Harold Bell. DC basketball playground legend Jo Jo Hunter served 18 years before I helped to get him an early release from his jail cell. I tried to give our Mayor for life the late Marion Barry the 411 that the feds were going to try to set him up. He said, “Harold I have everything covered.” His security man William Stays listening to the conversation rolled his eyes. Several months later ‘The Bitch set him up!’ He has a statue in front of the Wilson Building in downtown DC.
When the NFL blackballed Green Bay Packer great Willie Wood from his rightful place in its Hall of Fame, I provided him with a platform via legendary DC sports writer the late Dick Heller. He was inducted in 1989. When NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd was denied his rightful place in its Hall of Fame, I gave and provided him with a platform via Red Auerbach to be inducted in 2003.
In 2016 I uncovered a scam artist scamming NBA players Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and former players Dave Bing, Bob Lanier and Oscar Robinson. The scam artist was producing a documentary on the life story of Earl Lloyd titled, “The First to Do It!”
The players and former players were asked to be investors. Sherrie Deans, the then Executive Director of the NBA Players Association told the Hollywood Reporter, “Earl Lloyd’s achievements and the times in which he lived provide important lessons for players and fans today. Our support of this film reflects our commitment to preserving the legacy of our players and our game. And the positive impacts that both have had on our society.” Much like the investors, she didn’t have a clue.
I wrote a letter to NBA Commissioner Adam Silva and Spurs Coach Greg Popovich alerting them of the scam.
I receive a response from Commissioner Silva that read,
May 26, 2017
“Dear Mr. Bell, Thank you for sharing your concerns with me regarding “The First To Do It” the documentary on Earl Lloyd. Preserving and honoring our history is very important to the NBA and during the NBA All-Star Game in February, the NBA Player’s Union hosted Earl Lloyd’s family and other guests for a screening of the film.
Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to me.”
“The First To Do It” was never seen or heard from again—it disappeared from the movie screens.
I am not sure that Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, or Carmelo Anthony was able to recover their investment. Former Washington Post writer and TNT NBA reporter Dave Aldridge did assist the researcher in Alexandria, Virginia to recover money from the bounced checks the scammer had written to her.
My entire sports media career my format has been on AM radio the lowest signal on the radio dial, but I never allowed that to stunt my growth in the media. I stayed a step ahead of major media by doing my home work. There is not enough space and time to list all of the benefactors of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports so I will move on, but where is the beef?
When are we in the BLACK COMMUNITY going to say enough is enough?
Why are we still in 2019 blaming others for our problems–without a doubt there is racism all around us in all colors shapes and forms… but why is it the Jewish, Asian and now the Hispanic community can pull together to enhance the growth of their people, but we are still acting like crabs in the barrel?
For example, we allow liars, cheats, and pimps in the pulpit to build Mega Churches and go to the bank and we go back to the ghetto, to jail or worst!
We built this country and the 1% are treating us like immigrants. The frauds in our community are becoming millionaires, buildings are being named after them (John Thompson and Cathy Hughes). Blacks in media like Bruce Johnson, Sam Ford, Leon Harris, Winston Martin are jokes. They are the bearers of Fake News or no News in the black community. When you see them in the community you can bet someone is dead, during his early years the SE community nicknamed Bruce Johnson “Doctor Death”.
Some who are misguilded are passing for white and sometimes black (Rock Newman). What is the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) good for? Minister Louis Farrakhan called them a bunch of Uncle Toms working in White media at their convention in their own house in 2007. It was so quiet you could hear a mouse piss on cotton. In DC there are known pedophiles like Armstrong Williams and sex molesters like Rock Newman who have their own weekly television shows!
Newman several months ago sexual abused a female comedian on stage in front of hundreds of witnesses during a charity benefit for my friend the late comedian Dick Gregory. First, he stuffed paper napkins down her bra and unzipped her dress from behind. She is now suing him. The only media to respond to this story was the City Paper! TV 4-5-7 and 9 have taken a commercial break. Courtland Milloy and Colby King of the Washington Post are sitting on their hands waiting for the return of Michelle and Barack before they write anything positive involving the black community. The Informer and Afro-American Newspapers are once a week publications and serve no purpose with “Old News!” Cathy Hughes and Urban One Radio and TV gets its marching orders from Comcast Cable. Who can we turn to?
NFL great Jim Brown, comedian Dick Gregory and yours truly huddle at a tribute to NFL great Willie Wood.
In the meantime, black athletes are being inducted in one hall of fame one after another while being scared to take a knee for their own human and civil rights.
Black cops are members of the FOP (KKK) in the police department around the country and are being brainwashed to believe “It’s us against them.” Remember this is not a job that they were drafted into–they volunteered for it and we pay their salaries. Black politicians are being voted into office while making promises they will never keep and we recycle them every 4 years while our children and black men’s blood flow in our streets like Niagara Falls. When are we in the BLACK COMMUNITY are truly going to say enough is enough and mean it?
WHITE PRIVILEGE is here to stay. For example, the recent incident in the NBA playoff finals where the white NBA owner put his hands on the black player was WHITE PRIVILEGE. When was the last time you checked to see how many blacks own teams in the NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB lately? In the meantime, we can do something about BLACK PRIVILEGE and the frauds who are operating in plain sight in our community. My advice is to use FB for something other than to show your new hair-do, a new car, your vacation cruise, etc. Use it to make a difference in your community, because if you don’t stand for something you will continue to fall for anything. Long live Muhammad Ali.
Dick Smith closes down DC tribute with the classic vocal “My Way.”
Can you believe there was no coverage relating to the sexual abuse by Rock Newman of black female comedian Sylvia Traymore Morrison. Why was there no media coverage of the incident by TV channels 4, 5, 7 and 9?
There was not a word printed in the Washington Post, Washington Afro or Washington Informer???
Has anyone seen our old friends Courtland Milloy, Colby King, Bruce Johnson, Sam Ford, the old head vanguards of black media in the Nation’s Capitol? Their pens have gone dry and their microphones have gone mute! But you could not not shut them up when it came to Bill Cosby.
According to the City Paper, Ms. Morrison was performing during the annual March on Washington Film Festival at the Burke Theater in Washington, DC in July of 2018. She was the final act of the evening following the screening of “I am Dick Gregory”, a documentary about the late comedian and civil rights activist.
We should not only question whether Black Lives Matter, but does the respect and the dignity of a black woman matter?
Something is wrong with this picture. This horrible act by Newman was performed on stage in front of hundreds of people who knew Mrs. Morrison who is a respected pioneering black female comedian and native Washingtonian. She was the first black female to write for Saturday Night Live. Newman claims he never heard of Ms. Morrison. I wonder why did he think that gave him the right to violate her space (place a napkin in her bra and unzip her dress).
Unlike Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly and other sexual preditors, they all sexually abused women behind close doors. Newman saved his performance for stage and screen (cell phone video).
He was a student/athlete at Howard University in the 70s when it was discovered he had in his possession two driver’s licenses. The Prince Georges County license I. D. him as white and the DC license I. D. him as black. I saw both licenses with my own eyes. My college roommate and teammate Dr. Arnold McKnight was the baseball coach at Howard University when Mr. Newman lost his wallet in the lockerroom. Dr. McKnight found the wallet on the floor and started to search throught it hoping to I. D. the person who lost it. The two licenses I. D. Newman.
A lawsuit was filed against Newman in January I had no clue. Newman is a Charles County, Maryland native. I penned a blog in February 2019 calling him out related driving for black in DC and driving while white in Maryland. I had become suspicious he was passing when a DC cop asked me out of the blue, “Is Rock Newman black or white?”
Presently he uses his platform to perpetrate a fraud as the host and producer of The Rock Newman Show on Howard University’s WHUT-TV. He also sits on the Board of Trustees for the university. His success as a boxing promoter has been tarnished by his protege, the once undefeated and undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World–Riddick Bowe. Bowe claims Newman and Cora Masters-Barry stole millions of dollars from him. While Newman rides around DC in his white convertible Rolls-Royce with his white French poodle riding shotgun, Bowe is homeless and broke in Florida.
In 2005 in Mike Tyson’s last professional fight held in DC at the MCI Center, Newman was a co-promoter with Marty Wynn. Wynn was forewarded to watch his back when the money was to be counted–he didn’t listen. Wynn and Newman had an ugly disagreement over how the earnings from the fight were to be divided (see emails below).
I tried to reach Both Newman, and Ms. Morrison for comment for this blog, but my calls and emails went without a response.
Rock Newman posted the case on Facebook. Someone once said “Its best to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” Read Mr. Newman’s response on Facebook and you will clearly see that the someone was clearly talking about him. He was never considered the sharpest knife in the draw when he was at Howard. Coach McKnight had to take one of his instructors out to dinner and to bed to get her to change his failing grade to keep him from flunking out of school.
In the meantime, Sylvia Traymore Morrisson re-groups and heads out to Las Vegas on June 4th to open three shows for the controversial comedian Mo’Nique. You go girl!
Willie Wood was blackballed for standing up against drug use by NFL players. The late Washington Times Newspaper sports columnist Dick Heller and I campaigned to have him inducted into the 1989 NFL Hall of Fame.
When the NBA ignored Earl Lloyd’s contributions Red Auerbach and I campaigned to have him inducted into the 2003 NBA Hall of Fame.
Dick and Red are two of the reasons I coined the phrase, “Every black face I saw was not my brother and every white face I saw was not my enemy.” I have a clear understanding that I cannot wait for ESPN, HBO, and folks like Ken Burns, Johnathan Eig, and Randy Roberts to write my story. Thanks to “White Privilege and Black Hate” we have given them Carte Blanche to write and steal our history and carry it to the bank when they have never walked in our shoes.
You want to know something that was ass-hole backward, Ken Burns receiving an NAACP Image Award? He is the best example that there is something wrong in our community. There is an old saying, “Until the lions hire their own Public Relations firm, the glory of the hunt will always go to the hunter.” These guys are the hunters in Black America! Here it is all about control and they want control of what we see and when we see it. They gave us Stephan A and Whitlock!
For example; HBO has given Lebron James the ‘Green Light’ to produce an HBO special on the life and times of Muhammad Ali—are you kidding me? I was on a recent radio talk show with a friend and her co-host and they could not figure out for some reason what was wrong with HBO giving Lebron James the rights to produce the Ali Documentary! let us start with, he knows absolutely nothing about Muhammad Ali except for what he has read. I heard him while leaving the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight saying “Floyd Mayweather is The Greatest of All Time (GOAT)” I said to myself “Can this brother be serious?”
He proved he was and his crew was not the sharpest knives in the draw when he was seen on HBO in a barber scene calling out NFL owners. He called them a bunch of old white men with a slave mentality!” I wonder who does he think controls Hollywood?
Ali made me proud when he gave me the first opportunity to interview him after he shocked the world with his historic knock-out in the 8th round of the undefeated and undisputed world heavyweight champion George Foreman in Zaire, Africa. This gesture was unheard of in media history.
The fight is now called the greatest fight in the history of boxing and is now known famously as “The Rumble in the Jungle.” When Ali arrived back in the U. S. he didn’t call Howard Cosell, Ed Bradley, Byrant Gumble or Ophra—he called Harold Bell. If the life and times of Muhammad Ali are produced by Lebron James it will truly be “Fake News!” You cannot give a man knowledge he does not have and make us think it’s authentic because they have made him ‘The Chosen One.’
Tiger Woods recent remarkable comeback on the greens of the Masters’ Golf Tournament is one for the record books, but in no way compares to the comeback of Muhammad Ali. Yea, there was a 14-year hiatus from his winning the Masters, but he never left the game. He was never barred from making a living. He always playing competitive golf somewhere. He was never at a financial loss like Ali and had to borrow money from his rival Phil Mickelson. Joe Frazier stepped up and lend Ali money.
The level of racism that Ali faced, Tiger never faced. His problem when it comes to racism was self-inflicted by his father. His father never explained to him the White American “One Drop Rule!” The unwritten rule states, “one drop of black blood, despite having an Asian for a mother makes you black, negro, nigger, nigra, sambo, or anything else they want to call you.”
Black history is overrun with success stories (how we built this country) and accomplishments (the invention of the stoplight, etc). We cannot expect Henry Louis Gates and movie producer Will Packer to write and film all of these stories.
Let me introduce you to the benefactors of Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports who came through Kids In Trouble, Inc and Inside Sports. I enhance their status and uplifted their careers. I did it without an ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, or a CNN format. And there was no FM radio format. I am in no way saying I am responsible for their success, but I am saying they came through me and benefited from their association before or after their careers moves.
They read like a Who’s Who, meet 50 of those who benefited in alphabetical order using Kids In Trouble, Inc and Inside Sports as springboards or to enhance their stations in life.
David Aldridge (Washington Post/TNT)
Tim Baylor (NFL)
Raymone Bain (Michael Jackson publicist)
Paul Berry (TV 7)
Dave Bing (NBA/Mayor)
Kevin Blackistone (ESPN)
Larry Brown (NFL before the Super Bowl & MVP)
Jamie Foster Brown (Sister 2 Sister Magazine)
Jim Brown (NFL)
The greatest to ever play in the NFL, but was off-side in the Game Called Life!
Maureen Bunyan (TV 7)
Adrian Branch (NBA)
Adrian Dantley (NBA)
Bobby Gardner (NFL)
Cornelius Greene (Ohio State)
Larry Fitzgerald, Sr. (ESPN)
Glen Harris (DC Sports talk radio)
Calvin Hill (NFL)
Darryl Hill (Naval Academy/ACC)
Grant Hill (NBA)
Robert Hooks (Actor)
Cathy Hughes (Urban Radio & TV One)
Tracy Jackson (NBA)
Lamont Jordan (NFL)
Mark Too Sharp Johnson (Boxing)
Randy Kennedy (Harvard Law Professor)
Don King (Boxing)
Earl Lloyd (NBA)
Johnny Lloyd (American University)
Jair Lynch (Olympic Gymnast)
Sugar Ray Leonard (Boxing)
Butch McAdams (DC Sports talk radio)
Don King (Boxing)
Vashti McKenzie (1st female Bishop in the AM & E church)
Tony Paige (NFL)
Lavonia Perriman (Radio talk show host)
Bill Raspberry (Washington Post winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
Bill Rhoden (NY Times & ESPN)
Donnie Simpson (BET)
John Thompson (GT Basketball)
Roland ‘Fatty’ Taylor (ABA/NBA)
Lonnie Taylor (Capitol Hill )
Cecil Turner (NFL)
Chris Thomas (Comedian)
Omar Tyree (Author)
Jim Vance (DC TV-4 anchor)
Michael Wilbon (Washington Post/ESPN)
Michelle Wright (DC Radio personality)
Alex Williams (Federal Judge)
Doug Williams (NFL)
Willie Wood (NFL)
Jack Johnson exhibit visit Charles Houston Community Center in Alexandria, Virginia. L-R Co-host and boxing legend Tony Suggs-HB & Hattie T-Gloria Ortiz and daughter-James Henson, Sr-Julius ‘Juice’ Gatling
DC Youth Advocate Lawrence Brown joins Aaron Snowell at the Ridge Road Community Center in SE DC during the Jack Johnson exhibit.
Will Williams and Aaron Snowell meet SE Dream Center Director Ernest Clover
Dream Center Assistant Director Tina Henderson sharess WBC Community Service Award with center youth.
In the 80s and 90s, I remember watching CBS on Sunday Mornings with host Charles Kuralt. He traveled the country interviewing people from all walks of life, it was not only entertaining television, but it was also enlightening and educational television. Meet Aaron Snowell without the television format during much the same thing with the Jack Johnson exhibit. He travels the country with his side-kick Will Williams and Johnson’s niece, Linda Haywood trying to educate the masses.
In February Aaron made a stop here in the Nation’s Capitol visiting community and recreation centers to spread the word about the first and greatest heavyweight boxing champion of all time. I know the first name that comes to your mind is Muhammad Ali–meet Jack Johnson. In December 1908 Johnson knocked Tommy Burns out to become the first black Heavyweight Champion of the World.
There were similarities, when Johnson knocked out Burns in 1908 he stood close by yelling for him to get up. Muhammad Ali seen in a similar pose in 1964 after his first round knockout of Sonny Liston, yelling “Get up sucker!”
It took 97 years for Jack Johnson to be granted a pardon that he asked President Woodrow Wilson for while he was serving a 10-month stint at Leavenworth prison in 1921. On Thursday, May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump finally answered that letter, granting Johnson a full and unconditional pardon for his 1913 conviction of a crime that amounted to traveling with a white woman. As Johnson sat in prison to serve a one-year sentence for violating the Mann Act. Even the attorney general serving under Wilson at the time had reservations about the case since the Mann Act was intended to punish human trafficking — not consensual relationships.
By all accounts a model prisoner, Johnson sent his pardon application to President Wilson in February 1921, but by the time it got to the White House Warren G. Harding had been sworn in. And for a brief moment, it looked like the Harding administration might actually grant it.
Harding’s attorney general, Harry M. Daugherty, told reporters he “might consider” a pardon for Johnson. He changed his mind four days later. The mere suggestion of a pardon had provoked an angry reaction.
“Do you know his crimes against white women?” read one letter, discovered by The Associated Press in the National Archives in 2011. “Why pardon the negro Johnson who should have 50 years in prison for his crimes against white women?” read another. The file was then closed for another 83 years.
Many thought President George W. Bush would grant Johnson a pardon, but it never happens. President Barack Obama elected the first black President of the United States surely would be a slam dunk to pardon the first black heavyweight champion of the world. The only slam dunks President Obama cared about were the ones found in pick-up games with his boys on a basketball court. His boys, Michael Jordan, and Charles Barkley.
The pleas for a Presidential pardon evidently fell on deaf ears. The pleas came from biographers, boxing champions, senators (Senator John McCain was very vocal), journalists, historians, actors, and musicians. Eight years later President Obama never looked back as it related to a pardon for Jack Johnson, his next stop, “Show me the money!”
Ultimately it was actor Sylvester Stallone, his conversation with Trump about the Johnson case led to just the third posthumous pardon knowingly granted by a president.
President Trump shows signed pardon given to former Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson. Johnson great-niece Linda Haywood looks on with approval. WBC Heavyweight Champion Deotay Wilder, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman, Actor Sylvester Stallone (facilitator) and former heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis are in attendance.
Aaron takes his show on the road again as he takes the Jack Johnson exhibit to Montebello, California for the National Boxing Hall of Fame Inductions. This year’s inductees include former World Heavyweight Champion Vitali Klitschko, 4th Division World champion, Erik ‘El Terrible’ Morales and former Middleweight Champion, Winky Wright.
He then makes a U-turn and heads back to New Jersey for the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday, June 23rd. The inductees will include an all-star lineup, Bernard Hopkins, Roberto Duran Sr, Virgil Hill Sr, Mickey Ward, Iran Barkley, Tim Witherspoon Sr, Bouie Fisher, Butch Lewis, Jimmy Binns and a host of other honorees. Charles Kuralt would be proud of the Aaron Snowell Road Show with Jack Johnson, the Greatest of All-Time.