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.
Dave Bing and Earl Monroe go one on one NBA style
ESPN’s airing of “Black Magic” chronicling the rich history of black basketball in America was a buzzer beating jump shot to win and a controversial foul call at the end of the game to lose. It was also the most watched documentary in the history of ESPN television. The first segment aired in 1.2 million homes beating the old record of 1.1 million.
The four hour two-part television show carried black basketball from the playgrounds, high schools, colleges and on to its final destination—the NBA. This brought full circle the hopes and dreams of most black athletes, a life in the fast lane of professional sports. For some it was their only way out.
The show’s title, “Black Magic” was the footprints in the sand of the man who revolutionized offensive guard play in basketball—Earl Monroe. He is also a part-time magician. I found the show to be enlightening and educational even though I lived most of it as a student/athlete. I played football and basketball for the legendary Clarence “Bighouse” Gaines at Winston-Salem State. During my era (59-63) I was the only athlete under 6’5 he permitted to play two sports. Tim Autry and Emit Gil my football teammates could not chew bubble gum and dribble at the same time but they were tall. He called Tim and Emit “My Special Effects.”
Earl and Bighouse participate in The Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Show
Winston-Salem greats: Cleo Hill and Earl Monroe
My freshman year I scored 27 points in a losing effort in the annual Alumni vs. Varsity basketball game. My friend and mentor the legendary Jack DeFares had returned to Winston-Salem to finish work on his degree. He lobbied for me to play for the shorthanded alumni. It was easy to see why Jack was a New York playground legend and an All-Time great at Winston-Salem. He simply said, “Keep your eyes on the ball and follow my lead.” His slick ball handling and moves to the basket was responsible for me leading both teams in scoring. Bighouse knew I could do two things well, catch a football and score on a basketball court. But he made it clear that year he had only one basketball and it belonged to Cleo Hill. Like it or not I had to wait my turn. I satisfied my basketball hunger for the game by playing at the local YMCA and on the Inter-Mural team on campus called the “DC 5.”
I was in a unique position at Winston-Salem State I was there to compare three of the greatest players to ever play for “Bighouse,” Jack DeFares, Cleo Hill and Earl Monroe up close and personal.
I was there for the return of Jack DeFares, I was there for the departure of Cleo Hill and I was there to witness the arrival of Black Jesus better known as Earl “The Pearl” Monroe among other names.
Black Magic participants Al Attles and Earl Lloyd were two of my friends. I was in Landover, Maryland when Al and the Golden State Warriors upset and beat another close friend K. C. Jones. The Warriors beat the Washington Bullets in four straight games to win the NBA Championship. Al and K. C. made pro sports history by becoming the first two Black Americans to face-off in a pro sports championship final.
I was there also to encourage the late great legendary Red Auerbach to step in support Earl Lloyd’s induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The NBA had overlooked his career. Thanks largely to Red the Basketball Hall of Fame finally inducted him in 2002 as a contributor. He was the first black to play in the NBA.
The CIAA barely beat the NBA. Fifty years after graduating from West Virginia State they finally pulled his number for induction into the CIAA Hall of Fame in 2000. Thanks to an assist from Bighouse Gaines.
Hopefully, Mike Wise of the Washington Post was watching ESPN and received an education on who was the first and last word when it came to “The Improviser” of guard play in the NBA. Mike and his colleagues are the best examples on why we need to celebrate Black History 365 days of the year. If we don’t our youth would believe that “Pistol Pete” Maravich revolutionize guard play in the NBA.
Mike wrote those exact words in his column during the NBA All-Star Weekend. Pete was a great player in his own right. As Black Americans we must be careful of what we read and who we read. I will be looking for his column saying “I made a mistake” but I am not holding my breath.
The enlightening stories for me, started with Perry Wallace, Athletic Director at American University and the first black to play at Vanderbilt University, the perseverance of NBA player Bob “Butter Bean” Love and without a doubt the hidden story that Ben Jobes was one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. Coach Jobes’ accomplishments and basketball success stayed under the radar of major media for decades. ESPN’s Black Magic made it perfectly clear he could have easily been a success on any level, but was denied recognition because he was black.
The real story of the NBA lynching of Cleo Hill by the St. Louis Hawks was long overdue. In Black Magic there was mention of Cleo being the greatest player of his era. He could have been the greatest player of any area where he was allowed to play.
Cleo had every shot imaginable. He is the greatest offensive basketball player I have ever seen with the exception of Washington, DC’s Elgin Baylor. He was “Michael Jordan” in North Carolina long before Michael Jordan. Jordan didn’t really blossom into a great offensive ball player until the pros. Cleo was a basketball icon and legend on Tobacco Road long before his pro career. To believe it you had to be there to see him. When Cleo played you would have thought the ACC Tournament was being held on the campus of Winston-Salem State. White folks traveled from all over the state to see him play.
Cleo Hill was worth the travel time and price of admission. There were times when our own students could not get into the games. There was nothing Cleo could not do on a basketball court. His offensive arsenal consisted of left and right hand hook shots, set shots, a jump shot from any and everywhere, a great rebounder when he needed to be, he was fearless driving to the basket and he was an 80% foul shooter. Cleo could dribble the ball up court to break the press. He was no slough on defense either, when “Bighouse” needed someone to stop the other team’s hot shooter, he looked no further than Cleo or teammate Tommy Monterio.
Cleo was drafted No. 1 by the St. Louis Hawks in 1961 and everything was uphill from there. When he arrived in St. Louis the KKK better known as “The Nest” was waiting for him. The “Nest” consisted of players Bob Pettit, Cliff Hagan and Clyde Lovellet. They did everything but string him up by his neck. When Coach Paul Seymour took a stand against “The Nest” the owner Ben Kerner fired him. When Cleo returned to campus to finish up his classes to graduate after his rookie year he was a beaten man. He would come around to our room and sit and talk with my roommate Barney Hood and me for hours about life with the St. Louis Hawks. His story was something out of the 1800’s. Little has changed black men are still having their ideas and goods stolen and are asked to go in the backdoor and side doors to re-claim them. Spooks are still sitting by the door opening it for some and closing it for others.
When we start to talk about the injustices of the sports establishment you have to look no further than Coach John McLendon. White coaches led by the legendary Dean Smith stole his ideas and made them their own. The basketball establishment led by the white media had fans believing for years that Coach Smith invented “The Four Corners.” A strategy devised by Coach Mac to take time off of the clock in the closing moments of a game while sitting on a lead.
How can you vote one of the greatest innovators of the game into the hall of fame as a contributor? Check the records and see if Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith have Contributor before or after their names. In all fairness if Coach Mac is a Contributor than every coach who followed James Naismith into the hall of fame is also a Contributor.
The word “Contributor” needs to be changed, as it relates to Coach Mac and Earl Lloyd. If history is the judge “Brothers and Sisters” in media will see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and write no evil.
Johnny McLendon was definitely “An Officer and a Gentleman” he was in a class by himself when it came to having a compassion for helping others. Johnny Mac was a pleasure to be around. He is one of the best examples on how one can be a class-act and black folks will Player Hate on you anyway. Barney Hood and I would often talk about Coach Mac and how he would always be uplifting when talking about his friends and former players. Fairness is a lesson that never seemed to have rubbed off on some of his colleagues.
The man many of us called “Big Daddy” when others called him Bighouse would sometimes forget we were watching him. He could be very selfish and self serving. Bighouse had a big heart but he could also be heartless. He went ballistic when his friend and colleague Coach Tom “Tricky” Harris of Virginia Union hired a white coach, Dave Robbins (in-focus). Coach Gaines and Harris were poker pals and shared a lot of basketball history. When his buddy hired a white coach he felt betrayed. Bighouse slowly burned when CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry (out of focus) and his cohorts hijacked the conference right before his eyes. Some of the things he said about his colleagues and student/athletes made many us wonder whether he really liked himself. None of us escaped his wrath including me, Cleo and Black Jesus.
In many ways we have taken on the characteristics of the establishment. When it comes to fairness it is becoming a lost art in the black community. We have also become more exclusive instead of inclusive. Black Magic for example; How were the contributions of icons Sam Jones (It is rumored he wanted to get paid), Spencer Haywood, Curly Neal and last but not least Red Auerbach and Walter Brown of the Boston Celtics be overlooked?
Sam Jones is in the NBA Hall of Fame and voted as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest, he could have easily added more insight. His mentors were two of the greatest coaches of all time, Johnny Mac and Red Auerbach. Without Red’s contributions “Black Magic” would still be out of focus and a dream deferred. Spencer Haywood’s contribution turned the plantation mentality of college basketball and the NBA into a “Pay Day Heaven” for today’s NBA players.
In a landmark decision Spencer successfully challenged in court and won his case to enter the NBA draft before graduation. He became the first ever NBA Hardship case. Every NBA player making over $5,000 owes him a debt of gratitude. He should be in the NBA Hall of Fame and a member of The 50 Greatest Players ever, for his play on the court and his legal battles in court. He was working in the community long before the NBA CARED and he put the POWER in Power Forward. He is being Black Balled by the NBA for standing up to be a man in America and for his alleged drug use. If drug use is one of the measuring rods used for his induction, than the hall should be almost vacant. One of the show’s characters, drug dealer Pee Wee Kirkland is a New York Playground basketball legend and former Norfolk State player. I saw some his best customers in “Black Magic.” Curly Neal is a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and his name is synonymous with the internationally known Harlem Globetrotters, he was also out of focus in Black Magic!
How could Black Magic forget New York basketball icons Pop Gates, Jack DeFares and Carl Green?
Sound bites we could have done without: Some things are better left unsaid, playground and NBA Broadcast legend Sonny Hill describing former Tennessee State and New York Knicks’ guard Dick Barnett was definitely out of focus. He said “Dick Barnett was a functional illiterate.” Dr. Dick Barnett graduated from Tennessee State and now holds a PHD Degree.
ESPN NBA studio analyst and Winston-Salem State alumnus Stephen A. Smith and basketball scrub was blackballed from the show for stepping on “Superman’s Cape.”
Bighouse Gaines was having trouble winning games at the end of his career (828 wins) Smith writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer made the mistake of calling for his firing. He has been out of bounds and out of focus ever since. What is my excuse for being out of focus? I walk and march to a different drum beat.
The Atlanta Child Murders captured the imagination and the attention of the entire country from 1979 until 1981. Will Packer Productions aired the first one of three documentaries in March. The documentary re-opened the investigation and will try to bring some closure to many families who feel the real killer or killers are still out there.
This case was just a footnote in Atlanta history, until the national spotlight shined its bright light back on this horrific crime. The Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms last month announced plans to re-open the case and that the Atlanta Police Department will use technological advances to re-test the Atlanta Child Murders evidence.
The documentary tells the story that began in 1979 when two 14-year-old black boys went missing. Several days later a woman discovered their bodies. One boy was shot and the other was choked to death. This incident started a grim and horrifying 23 months, with a total of 28 black children and men were murdered and no one had a clue. Will Packer media will produce this documentary with Jupiter Entertainment.
Packer executive produces this documentary with Kelly Smith, Harrison Land, Mike Sheridan, Allison Wallach, and Pamela Deutsch. This case remains one of our countries’ most perplexing mysteries, and at ID we are proud to shine a light on every angle of this largely forgotten story,” said Schleiff. Will Packer’s vision to revisit this national tragedy through the never-before-heard perspective of the victims’ families bring home the true devastation.”
“Having lived in Atlanta for over 20 years, the story of this senseless tragedy is personally important to me, and the echoes of what happens 40 years ago still resonate in the city,” added Packer. I am proud to give a voice to the victim’s families, many of whom still seek closure to this day, and analyzed how this story is more relevant than ever in today’s environment.”
Where were you in 1979-1981?
My path to Atlanta started in 1965 when I was hired by the self-help community organization UPO ( United Planning Organization). The CEO Jim Banks hired three Neighborhood Workers for the Shaw/Cardozo community. He hired the legendary radio and television personality, Ralph ‘Petey’ Greene, the legendary civil rights activist, H Rap Brown and yours truly.
In 1968 I was caught in the middle of the worst riot in the history of my hometown. I was an employee of the DC Department of Recreation & Parks’ “Roving Leader Program.” The program was an elite group that addressed the problems of youth gangs and at-risk children. During the riots, I was given a badge (deputized) by DC Assistant Chief Timon O’Bryant the city’s highest-ranking black law-enforcement officer. The badge allowed me to cross the police and military barricades set up around the city’s trouble spots. My role was to try to keep the peace. Chief O’Bryant was the original ‘Officer Friendly!’
After the tear gas, smoke and dust had cleared the streets of the city, I married my wife Hattie in November of 1968. She was also caught in the middle of riots while teaching at Cardozo High School located in Shaw/Cardozo the worst hit corridor in the city. In December 1968 we found ‘Kids In Trouble” our non-profit organization hoping to really ‘Make Children First’ and we did.
Child victims in the dangerous streets of Shaw/Cardozo during the 1968 riots.
‘Boys in the Hood’ participate with ‘Officer Friendly’ Charlie Robinson in a uneasy truce after the riots.
The late Redskin LB Harold McLinton is Santa’s Helper at a Kids In Trouble toy party for elementary school children.
In 1969 I was honored with a Presidential appointment by Richard M. Nixon.
President Nixon welcomes Hattie and me to the White House. We visit the Nixon Library in 2017 fifty years after I first met Nixon at the all white Burning Tree Golf Course in 1957. I was a caddy and he was the Vice-President of America.
In 1970 I found the first ever half-way house established for juvinile deliquents on a military-installation on Bolling AFB in SE DC.
In 1972 I became the first black to host and produce my own radio sports talk show, ‘Inside Sports’ in Washington, DC. NBA Legend the late Red Auerbach is my co-host.
In November 1975 I became the first black to host and produce my own television sports special in prime-time on NBC affiliate WRC-TV 4. My special guest, The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.
In 1980 I was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine making me the first ever sports media personality honored in the history of the magazine.
Hattie and I were both concerned about the black children losing their lives in Atlanta. We decided to combine all of this high profile notoriety on my 40th birthday to raise monies for the victims of The Atlanta Child Murders. The fundraiser was held at the in-crowd Foxtrapp Night Club in NW DC. Radio and television personalities, pro athletes, judges, and everyday people helped me raise over $1200 for the Atlanta Child Murders’ fund.
Televison anchor Maureen Bunyan (TV 7), Lark McCarthy (TV 5) and radio personality Donnie Simpson were some of the participants at the fund raiser.
My hat is off to Mayor Bottoms and Will Packer for not forgetting to make our children “FIRST” and having the courage to re-open this important unsolved piece of history in Black America. This is another example; if we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything.
Take note it was a Podcast and Will Packer Productions that lead the way to re-open the case and not mainstream media.
In the 70s, 80s and 90s Inside Sports lead the way in seeking the truth in our community via radio and print.
“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
“Until the lions hire their own PR team, the glory of the hunt will always go to the hunter!” Thanks, Will Packer.