Ice Cube definitely cause some confusion by sitting at a table with Trump’s people, but to me he cleared the confusion up when he made it clear that he was not on anyone’s TEAM. His plan is to fight “The power with power”.
I am still not clear on whether there were any funds promised or exchanged between the Trump administration and Ice Cube!
The interview Ice Cube had with ROLLING STONEMAGAZINE tells his story and his objectives for black America. It is black brothers like NFL Legend Jim Brown who has been ripping off black America and the black athlete for over 50 years. He has been living a lie forever and a day.
Jim has pretended his work with gangs and the incarcerated was about uplifting them when it was all about uplifting himself. He recently took 50 million dollars from the Trump administration. See the link with him in the White House oval office with Kanye West as he kisses Trump’s ass for the 50 million. He tries to hide out sight of the cameras, but Trump lets everybody know its Jim Brown he is talking to and we still gave him a pass. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D983iIrkqw
In 2007 I coordinated a fund raising tribute with Willie Wood’s lawyer, Bob Schmitz to help Willie with his nursing home expenses. The tribute was held on the Georgetown Waterfront. The guest were former players who read like a group of players who just stepped out of the NFL Hall Fame.
The Green Bay Packers in attendance were, QB Bart Starr, RB Paul Hornung, WR Max McGee, DE Willie Davis, Redskins LB Sam Huff and WR Charlie Taylor, Baltimore Colt’s TE John Mackie, SD Chargers WR Lance Alworth and Cleveland Brown RB Jim Brown.
I watched Jim Brown and Schmitz steal chump change from Willie when he could not help himself (dementia). Willie’s family was nowhere to be found. I am talking about less than 60 thousand dollars. When I called Jim out he went into his ganster bag and called me all kinds of MFs and sons of Bs. He has never said, “I didn’t take Willie’s money!” This negro is a fake. He is not the only spook who has been sitting by the door keeping others out. They read like a undercover Who’s Who.
I had to squash one beef after another when it came to Jim Brown. First, There was the beef with the judicial court system in California when he was sentenced to six-months in jail in 1999. Then there was NFL RB Calvin Hill and the late NFL star Bubba Smith. The two smiled in his face and stabbed him in his back. They talked do-do behind his back, never looking him in his eyes man to man.
I threaten to expose Calvin to Jim during the tribute, but when I went to get Jim, Calvin had dropped his plate and ran from the building. I guess he had not forgotten the story about how Jim’s golfing partner caught him cheating. Jim took a golf club and beat him bloody.
The most hurtful beef was the one he started with the great, Lenny Moore. Lenny is one of the nicest human beings to ever play in the NFL–No. 24 was an oficer and gentleman. We all know how the Baltimore Colts broke the hearts of their fans when on March 28, 1984 owner Bob Irsay in the still of the night while Baltimore slept, he packed the team’s belongings in trucks and moved them to Indianapolis.
It took 12 years for a NFL team to return to Baltimore. Art Modell owner of the Cleveland Browns got fed up with the city of Cleveland who refuse to fund a new stadium for his team. In 1996 Modell decided to take his football and go play in Baltimore. The baggage or gabbage he brought from Cleveland with him was Jim Brown.
Jim is considered the greatest football player in the history of NFL and I totally agree, but he comes up short as a human being. He followed owner Art Modell and the money to Baltimore. Lenny Moore was still living in Baltimore and he remained a Baltimore Colt running back treasure/legend. The city loved him–to know Lenny was to love him.
Old friend and Cleveland Brown legend TE Ozzie Newsome made the trip to Baltimore. He was the first black General Manager (ret) in league history.
I met Ozzie his rookie year in 1978 in RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. The Browns were playing the Washington Redskins. During an interview after the game he gave me his home number making him one my favorite pro athletes. Try to get a player or GM’s home number or cell number today-it ain’t happening. Ozzie and I reconnected in Baltimore.
Jim Brown’s storied history with the Cleveland Browns has brought him back to the area. He now double dips in Cleveland and Baltimore with his hand-out. This is one insecure brother. In Balltimore his insecurity started with him spreading rumors that Lenny was bad-mouthing him to the Ravens players, but nothing was further from the truth. These accusations were based on the thought of him losing the Raven’s locker room to the great Lenny Moore.
Lenny was hurt by Jim spreading those rumors because he thought he was his friend. I was asked to intervene by Lenny and I did. I called Jim and I told him there was no truth or proof to the rumors that Lenny was talking bad about him to the Raven players. He called Lenny and apologized–case closed. He was chased out of Cleveland by former coach and Cleveland Brown Vice-President Mike Holgren for solicting money from the players. He claimed it was for his Amer-I-Can program.
His next beef was with former Syracuse legendary athlete Avatus Stone who hailed from Washington, DC. I knew the legend of Avatus from hearing folks talk about him on the playgrounds, in school gyms, pool halls and barber shops across the city.
He is one of the greatest all-around athletes to come out of the DC Public School system. He played football, basketball and baseball for Armstrong High School. He played his college football at the University of Syracuse where he was a triple threat, running, throwing and kicking the football.
He played the game hard on and off the field. He was a lady’s man and could be seen driving around campus in a red cadillac and a blond riding shotgun.
Avatus was drafted by the Chicago Cardinals in the 1953 NFL draft, but this was an era they were not giving black quarterbacks an opportunity to play the position. Avatus decided to play professionally in Canada with the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1953 to 1956. His best year was playing tailback with the Montreal Alouettes in 1957. He won the Jeff Russell Memorial Trophy as the best player in the East. He finished his pro football career in 1958 with the Baltimore Colts of the NFL playing one game. It is rumored he drove off in a red cadillac and a blond riding shotgun.
During the 50s Darryl Hill was just a youngster living in a community called Mayfair Manions in NE DC. I lived in Parkside a housing project on the other side of the street–Hayes street divided the two communities. Darryl’s family own a trucking company, Hill’s Transfer-he was a ‘Privilege Black Kid’ through no fault of his own.
In the evenings and weekends we played pick-up football on a field behind the DGS Food store off of Kenilworth Aenue. There was no rivary between the two communities, in fact on Thursday nights there were folks in Mayfair who would allow several of us to gather outside of their windows and we watched Antonino Rocca, Golden Superman, and Gorgeous George among others as long as we stayed quiet. This was long before the WWE.
Darryl would try to join the pick-up game but he was a little soft. The brothers from Parkside could be bullies when they chose. We would ruff him up and send him home crying to his mother. His mother would send him back to play the following day. She would hang around for a minute and then head back to her apartment. Darryl would not be far behind her.
He went missing for about a week, but the next time he showed up he was fully armed. The brother hanging out with him was 6’3 and at least 230 pounds. He looked like he was walking on air–it was Avatus Stone.
Everyone just froze where we stood. He carried a football under his arm and lined up everyone to run out for passes. We were thrilled that the great Avatus Stone was in the hood throwing us passes and showing us how to run pass patterns. Darryl was in like Flynn never having his mom for a chaperone again. Thanks to his mom, he was the first black player to play on the Gonzaga High School football team. For the next several years it would be one first after another.
Darryl Hill would later become the first black athlete to play a football game with the University of Maryland making him the first African-American to play in the ACC (The Atlantic Coast Conference) composed of formerly segregated white institutions. Darryl set two school records that still stand today, total yards receiving and total passes caught in single game. Darryl would become a true pioneer and trailblazer. He owes it all to his mom who refuse to give up on him and the brothers from Parkside on the othe side of the street who taught him how to take licking and keep on ticking.
Jim Brown has always been a insecure athlete, it all first surfaced when he followed Avatus to Syracuse. The coaches and players talked about Avatus like he was a God. They claimed he could do things on the field that they had never seen anyone else do. Jim was warned not to follow in his footsteps when it came to dating white girls–they were still off limits.
Jim Brown would use every opportunity to bad mouth Avatus to anyone who would listen. He would tell folks how Avatus’ bad behavior limited his boundaries on the campus. He carried these stories of Avatus all the way to the NFL.
My wife Hattie and Avatus’ former wife Carrie would become great friends while teaching at McKinley Tech High School in DC. We would often double date and hang out on his boat. Avatus was now a promient businessman who traveled all over the country making deals. He had an outgoing personality and we became great friends. When he found out that me and Jim were friends, he called me one day out of the blue and invited to have lunch with him.
The lunch was one that I will never forget. First, Avatus ask me how long had I been knowing Jim? My response, “Since my college days at Winston-Salem State. We have worked together on several community projects since the 1970s and he was a regular guest on Inside Sports.” He sat silent for a minute and said, “I have never met Jim Brown, but I would like to can you make that happen.” I said, ” You got it.”
The next 30 minutes Avatus would spent talking about how Jim had bad mouthed him around the country relating to the time he had spent as a student/athlete at Syracuse. My problem he said, “I don’t know the guy except from what I have seen him do on television on Sundays. He was one hell of a football player ”
Coincidently, I was planning a fund raiser tribute to Jim the next month at Holgate’s Restaurant on the SW waterfront. I am now thinking what in the hell have I have gotten myself into. I had already invited Congressman Lou Stokes (D-Ohio) as a surprise guest. Lou and Jim were great friends back in the day when he played for the Cleveland Browns, but now I have to try to bring these two former great athletes together. They both still look like they could suit up for a game on Sunday. I have to bring them to a meeting for the first time without a ‘Peace Pipe’! There was no Nobel Peace Prize hanging in the balance for me.
I met Jim in 1960 my freshman year at a Winston-Salem State University athletic banquet. We connected again in the late 60s when he found the Negro Industrial and Economic Union to help black businessmen to get a foothold in the financial world. The organization had a office in NE DC.
His history when it comes to violence against women is atrocious. They don’t get much lower than Jim Brown. Even though he was the NFL poster boy for domestic violence against women, the Cleveland Browns in 2016 still honored him with a stature in his likeness outside of the stadium!
Jim Brown likes to tell people how he put Syracuse University on the map–another lie. It was Wilmeth Sidat-Singh and Avatus Stone who put the school on the map. Jim just happen to come along during a time when the media was finally opening the doors of recognition for the black athlete. The trailblazers like Jesse Owens, Paul Roberson, Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson were not only heard but were seen.
In 1999 I led a campaign to get Jim Brown out of jail on his last domestic violence charge with his present wife Monique. She called me after he was sentenced to six-months in jail for domestic violence against her. He served three-months of the six-month sentence.
FAMOUS LAST WORDSBY JIM BROWN!
“Harold Bell has been a crusader for black people all his life. He also has friends in the white community in sports. He has always been outstanding. Always an individual speaking his mind and giving you a platform to express your views. When I was incarcerated he did everything he could to attack those who had incarcerated me unfairly. He is one of my friends and we have done many things together over the years. Harold is truly a man that believes in his culture and his people. He will always will be that way because there is no one who can change him–that is my partner!”
His friend Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-California) even called him out as a pimp and a hustler in the black community during a forum at the Congressional Black Caucus Weekend several years ago.
CBS sportscaster James Brown reminded everyone during a sports media panel at the University of the District of Columbia he said, “I am not the Jim Brown that throws women over balconies.”
Olympic track and field star Jackie Joyner Kersey called him out on national television with a forum on the Black Athlete. The panel included former President Bill Clinton (the first Black President), GT coach the late John Thompson.
The do-do hit the fan when Jim was complaining about the black athlete was not giving enough of their finances back to the black community. Jackie took the floor and ask the question, “Who in the hell are you to be telling the black athlete how much he or she should be giving back to the black community?” You could hear a mouse pee on cotton. I will take Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Ice Cube over Jim Brown on any given Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
I remember a conversation Jim and I had about heroes and by coincident we admired three of the same people, Paul Roberson, Jackie Robinson and Malcolm X. Go figure, these three giants had no domestic violence in their storied history. You would think with his violence against women he would have more in common with Attila the Hun.
God was definitely in my corner when Avatus called several days before the tribute to tell me he would be out of town. One of his business partners had called to tell him he had to have emergency surgery. He would appreciate it if Jim woul go to Chicago for the meeting in his place. It was business before pleasure–saved by the bell!
Avatus and I both were thinking there would be plenty of time to meet Jim since I was on his radar screen. It would never happen, the tribute was in 1998 and Avatus died from cancer two years later in 2000.
Wilmeth left DC in his youth when his mother remarried and they settled in Harlem, NY . He played varsity basketball and football at DeWitt High School. Syracuse University and nearby Cornell University were among the first collegiate football teams to include African-American players as starters in the backfield. There was a 1938 news report in the Baltimore Sun on one such game where Sidat-Singh led Syracuse to a victory over Cornell. In that era, when games were played in Southern segregation states, African-American players from Northern schools were banned from the field. Because of his light complexion and name, Sidat-Singh was sometimes assumed to be a “Hindu” (as people from India were often called by Americans during this time). However. shortly before a game against the University of Maryland, Sam Lacy a legendary black sportswriter for the African-American newspaper wrote an article revealing Sidat-Singh’s true racial identity. Wilmeth Sidat-Singh was held out of the game and Syracuse lost 13-0. In a rematch thefollowing year at Syracuse, Sidat-Singh led the Orange to a lopsided victory over Maryland (53-0). It was sweet revenge.
Read Ice Cube’s “Contract With America” response in Rolling Stone Magazine. He makes sense and hits a homerun. Ice Cube makes a very valid point, “No one has more skin in the game when it comes to the building of this country than black Americans whose ancestors were black slaves held captive to provide FREE labor.” White Americans bounced a check that read ‘We owe you 40 acres and a mule’. It has never to been paid. Everyone has received 40 acres and a mule except black folks.
Its spooks like Jim Brown who sit by and behind the door at places like the White House collecting checks who are the REAL enemy in Black America.
Would someone please explain to me how can someone’s networth is less than a million dollars in one year and the folowing year his networth is 50 million dollars after receiving 50 million dollars earmarked for prison reform from the White House for his non-profit organization?
The latest Spook to sit by the door is media coon Jason Whitlock. This fool thinks because Jim Brown was able to hustle Trup for 50 million he can do the same. You cannot hustle a hustler–ask Don King. Don stole from everyone he met or sign to a contract–he never stole a dime from Donald Trump. A thief knows a thief.
In February 1972 Inside Sports made its debut on W-O-O-K Radio in Washington, DC changing the way we talk sports in America forever.
December 1974 J. D. Bethea, a sports columnist for the Wasington Star-News wrote, “Harold Bell may be the only black guy living who ever grew up in a ghetto, in real poverty , but never learned to “Play the Game,” that great American pastime.
Everybody plays the game to some degree. That’s what success is all about. playing the game. Being alternately malleable and assertive with the right people at the right time. Bell never learned. If he had given his drive and single-miness of purpose, he would probably be dangeous.”
That was a great observation, but I was not going along to just get along. We were forwarned in 1968 by the Kerner Commission named after Gov. Otto Kerner of lllinois, they said, “America is headed for two societies, one white and one black, seperate and unequal” The all white commission turned out to be honest men selected by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the unrest in Black America. They blamed the riots on lack of economic opportuunity, racism, failed social service programs, health care, poor schools, police brutality, and the white oriented media. After reading the report it is rumored President Johnson disappeared and got drunk. He could not believe what he had just read. President Johnson was living proof that some well meaning white folks don’t know when they are racist.
We can now add to that list “The Spooks That Sit by the Door” as part of the problem. These spooks bring us to 2020 fifty-two years later facing those same exact problems. Black leaders as a whole did absolutely nothing. They sat around on their hands waiting for white folks to give them their promised “40 acres and a mule, ‘Even Playing Field” or both!
My first home there was no 40 acres and a mule, it was more like a one bedroom shack, outhouse and a dog. The shack was located on Douglas street in NE DC. One cold early morning according to my mother I was about three-years old, she thought I was sleeping with my dog Billy lying close by. She decided to quietly slip out to the corner store for milk and bread with a kerosene lamp burning. When she returned there were fire engines everywhere. I was sitting in the yard crying with my dog Billy standing over me. The shack had burned to the ground leaving only the outhouse.
My mother thanked the firemen for pulling me to safety, but one said, “Mrs. Bell we found him sitting in the yard with his dog when we arrived”. My mother had no clue how I got out of the burning shack and my dog Billy was not talking!
In the early years, my older brother, Bobby, Earl, and I grew up in Grandma Bell’s house on Jay Street in NE DC. The lessons we learned from our grandmother, aunts, uncles, and neighbors on Jay street were the lessons that would shape our adult and athletic lives. Grandma’s daughters, my Aunt Sara lived next door, and my Aunt Helen lived directly across the street from grandma.
My uncles, Ralph, Hope, and Dwight lived with Grandma. My Aunt June was out on her own, and my father Alfred Robert Bell was a rolling stone and nowhere to be found. Today I still find it difficult to picture how Grandma Bell, my three uncles, and the three Bell brothers all lived in the same house that had no basement and no second floor! I remember there were two bedrooms, a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living room. We knew nothing of racism and being poor.
I now attribute that to the environment we grew up in. It is often said, “It takes a Village” Jay Street NE was our safe haven, the words, poor, racism, and police brutality were never heard–maybe whispered. Church was another santuary. My great-grandfather the Rev. Robert Alfred Tyler laid the first brick to build Mount Airy Baptist Church in 1893. The church was located on North Capitol and L Streets in NW DC in the shadows of the Capitol. We sometimes spent two to three days a week and all day Sunday at Mount Airy. Church on Sundays were like a revival.
What was so unique about Jay Street was much like our future home, and school environments, they were all “Villages.” We looked out for each other. What a difference a day makes, today we don’t know our next door neighbor. We are like passing ships in the night.
When Earl and I were 10 and 11 years old our mother Mattie came to take us to live in our new “Village” a housing project called Parkside in NE DC. Grandma Bell kept Bobby with her. The new home was where Earl and I were taught to be men early in “The Game called life”.
There was no “Big Brother”! I was ‘Big Brother,’ my younger brother Earl and I fought back to back several times a week. We took our share of ass wippings, but we never ran and hid. It was known if you kicked our asses and it was not a fair fight, you were expected to see us again in some dark alley. After we earned the respect of the neighborhood tough guys, they backed off and let us be.
The lesson learned was, the neighbor tough guys could kick our ass but no one from the outside better not come looking to do the same. The lines were drawn. We were a “Village” all for one and one for all!
By the time I reached Spingarn High School I feared no one but my grandmother, mother and Officer Ray Dixon, he was the law of all he surveyed on “Education Hill”.
‘The Hill’ was the most unique conglomerate set of schools in America. The schools started at the top of 24th Street NE and worked their way down to Benning Road pass Langston Golf Course. There were Brown Middle School, Phelps Vocational High School, Charles Young Elementary School and last but not least, Spingarn High School overseen by our Prince of Academics, Principal Purvis J. Williams. If you lived in Langston Terrace you never had to leave “The Hood” to complete your elementary/high school education requirements. If you wanted to be an educator or businessman you would choose Spingarn and if you wanted to study a skill or trade you would choose Phelps. There were educational choices for everyone who wanted them.
Some of the greatest athletes in the city came off ‘The Hill’. They had names like Mojo Icely, Rock Green, Maxwell Banks (Hollywod Max Julien) and the great Elgin Baylor (Phelps). There were Tony Washington, Walter ‘T Boy’ Thompson, Bill Mayor, George ‘Carlos’ Williams, Noochie Green, Lloyd Murphy, Dickie Wells, Duck Wills, Elmore Flye, Francis Smith, Marty Tapscott and the great Elgin Baylor (Spingarn). Elgin followed our coach the great Dave Brown from Phelps to Spingarn and the rest is DC basketball history. The best basketball coach ever bar none, and the greatest player ever. Most of these guys were multi-sports athletes.
The student/athletes, who later made a difference as graduates and alumni in the fields of education, law-enforcement, media, civil rights, and sports, read like a Who’s Who.
They are led by Elgin Baylor-NBA Hall of Fame (1954 class), Andrew Jenkins-Superintendent DC Public Schools (1954 class), Franklin Jennifer-President of Howard University (1956 class), Marty Tapscott-Law-Enforcement (1954), Otho Jones-Assistant Superintendent DC Public Schools (1955 class), Andrew Johnson-Law-Enforcement (1957 class), Lawrence Lucas -President of USDA Coalition for Minority Farmers (1957 class)), Byron Berry-Magistrate Judge (1957 class), Jerry Phillips-radio/television (1958 class), Harold Bell-radio and television sports talk show pioneer (1958 class), Earl Bell-Civil Rights U. S. Army & DC Police officer (1962 class), Bill Lindsey-founder of the Foxtrappe Club (1962 class), Ollie Johnson-NBA (1962 class), Dave Bing-NBA Hall of Fame (1962 class). Cecil Turner-NFL Chicago Bears (1964 class). Ester Stroy-track and field (1970 class).
There were many great athletes to come out of the NE DC housing project known as Parkside. We all attended Nevell Thomas Elementary and Spingarn High Schools. A group of talented wide receivers followed me to the schools on the Hill, Spingarn and Phelps. They had names like Alphonso Lawson, Kenneth Springfield, Cecil Turner, Earl Bell, Roger “Shoes” Scott (Phelps), Gus Lee (Phelps) and Darryl Hill (Private school and Gonzaga). Everyone of these athletes were heads and shoulders talent wise above me-all I did was carry the torch and blaze the trail.
I had a front row seat to mingle and watch some of these great athletes in action when they met on the field of play during Spingarn home games. I would sit at the top of ‘The Hill’ and also watch my older brother Bobby playing second base, and future NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood play shortstop for Armstrong High School.
I would day-dream that one day I would be playing on that same Spingarn field (dreams do come true). Brown Middle School was located directly across the street from the field Spingarn practiced and played on. In the evenings I would sit on the hill and watch George ‘Carlos’ Williams. He was a running back for the Spingarn Green Wave-my hero. After practice he would let me carry his helmet back to the school. I must have weight about 100 pounds soaking wet. He was big for a running back. He looked to weight about 200 pounds or better, but I would always remind him I was going to play for Spingarn one day. He would always smile and say, “yea I bet you will!”
He didn’t see me play until years later for the Virginia Sailors (a minor league afilliate for the Washington Redskins). He confessed and said, “Man if I had your heart I would have been playing in the NFL.” I was flattered to hear him say those words. My hero made my day.
As for having “heart” as an athlete growing up in NE DC in the Kenilworth Ave/Benning Road corridor, I despised cry baby athletes. We lived by the premise, “No harm no foul.” Real men took the licking and kept on ticking.
My day started every morning when I got off the bus and walked to the end of 24th street pass the historical Langston Golf Course to Brown. I enjoyed walking through the Spingarn guys and girls hanging out in front of the school. I would stop and try to be a part of the crowd for a few minutes, but officer Dixon would come along just before the 9 0’clock bell and clear the side walk. He would give me the evil eye like he knew I didn’t belong.
He controlled the entire hill without a walkie talkie, a horse, patrol car, scooter or motorcycle. He could smell a crap game in progress from Spingarn to Brown. The last thing you wanted to see was Dixon getting out of a cab or a bread truck and running your black ass down. He had sprinter’s speed and he never pulled his gun.
My middle school ‘crew’ had names like Hobo, Mickey, Teddy and Rhoma. We had a habit of slipping out of school during the lunch hour and shoot crap in the back driveway. One day Officer Dixon appeared out of nowhere (he was like a Genie out of a bottle), he walked about six of us to the Principal’s Office, Mr. William Stinson.
The next day my mother had to take off work (her good government job) and meet with Mr. Stinson in his office. It was here Mr. Stinson tried to get my mother to paddle my behind with his favorite in-house weapon. The paddle had holes in it. My mother refused and it was there he told my mother, “Mrs. Bell you won’t have to worry about Harold much longer, at this rate he won’t live to get to high school”. My mother would later say to me, ‘Boy what are you trying to do, go to hell in a hurry’?
My encounters with Officer Dixon would continue after I lived to get to high school. The man was legendary. I will never forget the day my Spingarn football teammate Tony Wheeler and I decided to skip class and go to his house near the mythical Kelly Miller Playground. He lived a bus ride from school near the landmark Shrimp Boat carry-out located on the corner of Benning Road and East Capitol streets NE. It still stands today.
Tony was an only child and he lived in a nice home that always had a refrigerator full of food and a color television, I had neither. The plan was we would slip out during lunch and get back to school in time for football practice. First, we had to figure out where Officer Dixon was hanging out. On that day we discovered he was meeting with the school Principal Dr. Williams in his office–perfect.
Tony and I slipped out the backdoor by the teacher’s parking lot and made our way through Langston Terrace for our big get away. We decided to catch the bus at 19th and Benning Road near Blow Elementary School blocks away from Spingarn. We caught the bus and laid back as it made its way down Benning Road pass Spingarn. No problem, all we had to do was clear Oklahoma Avenue and the Langston Golf Course and we were home free.
The bus rolls pass Sporty’s Carry Out and the Langston Theatre and across Oklahoma Avenue pass Langston Golf Course. We breath a sign of relief. As the bus crosses the Anacostia River it stopped at River Terrace a middle class housing community. We thought the bus was stopping to pick up a passenger. The bus driver opens the door and there stands our worst nightmare, Officer Ray Dixon–busted. He didn’t say a word it was nowhere to run or to hide! His mode of transportation, a Capitol Cab. The cab was a black own cab company and a landmark in the black community.
This was 1957 and this is 2020 and I still have not figured out how he knew of our bad intentions. He had me so paranoid I was thinking he somehow planned a tracking device on me while I was sleeping.
We were ushered back to Spingarn in the cab and into Assistant Principal William Davis’ office and the damest thing happen, Mr. Davis chewed us out and send us to class. It was like nothing happen. It was a funny thing because I was always kicking the can down the road (testing my teachers and coaches patience). I would discover years later they were the ones with a cop that had my back. I still had not given up on going to hell in a hurry.
I was an all-around athlete playing three sports, football, basketball and baseball. I was a starter on every team. My junior year my baseball coach Leo Hill kicked me to the curve when I stole home against Fairmont Heights High School with the winning run on base and was out by a mile. When he asked me to turn in my uniform he reminded me, the one and only Willie Mays was playing in New York City. I was no “Say hey kid”!
The team made it all the way to the DC Public High School championship finals without me. The game was played in Griffin Stadium the home of Major League Baseball’s Washington Senators. We lost to Wilson High School 4-3. The player that replaced me in the outfield made a costly error to lose the game. He misjudged a fly ball that was hit over his head and the winning run scored.
My teammate Donald ‘Cornbread’ Malloy the man at bat when I tried to steal home never let me forget the incident. Everytime he saw me, he would say, “You know you cost us the championship in 1957.” I would laugh and take it as a compliment that he thought I would have caught the ball. Donald was a great catcher and linebacker on the football team also. He was killed in a hit and run automobile accident in 2019. His death brought me sadness and a smile to my face because he was always a ray of sunshine.
I barely survived football Coach Dave Brown my junior year. He locked me on the team bus for the second-half against our next door neighborn and rival Phelps for bad on field conduct. I blamed my QB Donald ‘Duck’ Wills for not calling the signals loud enough so I could hear them. I jumped off side and caught a pass in the corner of the endzone at the close of the first half costing us the go ahead touchdown.
I raised hell with him as we headed to the bus for half-time. Unbeknowst to me Coach Brown was listening. As we prepared to head back to the field for the second half, he stopped me as I was headed off the bus. He said, “Bell you sit this half out and watch the bus and we will try to win without you” and they did 6-0.
When the bus arrived back to Spingarn, I had to apologize to my teammates for my bad behavior. It was that or spend the rest of the season in Rip’s Pool Room across the street from the school going to hell in a hurry!
My senior year Dr. William Roundtree made me turn in my uniform for not abiding by team rules (I really had a bad attitude). On the basketbal team I had abandon my role as a defensive stopper to become a shooter.
Coach Roundtree would later tell folks what a great athlete I was. The real deal, I never thought I was a great athlete, but I didn’t want to second guess my coach. I would later learn my coaches were teaching me, ‘no one was indispensible’ and the game I played was a T-E-A-M sport and not a ME sport.
I was different from many of my teammates, when the game was on the line I wanted the ball in my hands. For me if there was a touchdown, a base hit or a jump shot needed, I wanted the ball. I hated losing and that pissed off some of my teammates and coaches. According to them, I was selfish.
I was the same way on the playground growing up, I never saw a football I could not catch, a base I could not steal or a jumpshot I could not make. In ‘The Game Called Life’ you win by knowing your limitations and not trying to fool yourself. You can fool everyone but yourself.
I often think about my teammates in my housing project, the ones I could not tie their tennis shoes as an athlete. Their problem, they never got beyond the projects.
I play “The Game Called Life” the exact same way when it comes to our children. I don’t just talk the talk, when it comes to making children ‘First’ I walk the walk. Marvin Gaye and I had become friends in Parkside
I struggled to get out of high school because of a bad attitude. In 1958 I transferred to rival Eastern High School after I was kicked off the Spingarn team. The Eastern basketball team was loaded. They had great players like Jimmy Jones, James “Pretty’ Thomas, Bernie Chavis, Bobby Johnson, Robert Cephas, and Ronnie Bruce, but coach Mr. Bobby Hart welcomed me with open arms.
Spingarn was next on their schedule and I was chopping at the bit to meet them. The day before the game Mr. Hart called me into his office and gave me the bad news, Spingarn had lodged a protest. There was a rule I could not transfer to a school in the same zone and be eligible to play in the same semester year. I was crushed and my feelings were hurt.
Coach Brown had my back, when the school year ended he found me in Rip’s Pool Room after he had talked with my mother. She was worried about me, my class (58) had graduated and there I was on the outside looking in. The next year 1959 Coach Brown had me all set to finish my senior year at Fairmont Heights High School in Prince Georges County, Maryland. This thoughful gesture detoured the trip to hell for the moment.
My marching orders were to play one sport (football) hit the books and graduate. The Fairmont Heights family reminded me of my Spingarn family–they cared. Mr. James Gholson (Principal), Ms. Myrtal Fentress (English), Coaches Farmer (football), and Freeman (basketball). They had my back and made sured I toed the line.
My next stop would be “Tobacco Road” Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, NC. It was the home of the legendary coach, Clarence ‘Bighouse’ Gaines. I was still on track of trying to go to hell in a hurry.
I remembered walking on campus thinking I was the straw that stirred the drink. That was before Bighouse introduced me to WR Elwood ‘Mickey’ Robinson a product of Armstrong High School in DC. He could run like a deer, catch anything in the air and play defense if needed. The next introduction was to Cleo Hill from Newark, NJ. He had every shot known to man and at 6’3 he could jump out of the gym.
During the season we could not get into our own gym, white folks would travel from around the state to see Cleo play. He own Tobocca Road before Michael Jordan. Bighouse made it perfectly clear, he had only one football and it was for Mickey and the one basketball was for Cleo. They would both be gone the following year so I had to wait my turn. Bighouse allowed me to play in the alumni game against the varsity. I scored a game high 23 points. He shook his head and said, “No way”, to get my kicks, I played inter-mural basketball on Saturday mornings–here I was king!
The Ram football team was off the charts. My teammates were the greatest group of athletes I have ever been associated with. We lost the the 1960 CIAA championship because of a homefield no-call. We lost to North Carolina A & T by one point. Freshman punt returner Dick Westmoreland took a punt up the left sideline in front of our bench. He almost stepped on me while stepping out of bounds. That was the winning touchdown. Westmoreland went on to play for the AFL San Diego Chargers and the NFL Miami Dolphins. He still holds the record for most interceptions in a season for the Dolphins (10) in 1967.
My brother Earl hitched hike from DC to Winston-Salem for homecoming and I never got off the bench–I was in Bighouse’s doghouse. Earl came to tell me he was going to join the Army. I was happy just for him to get off the mean streets of DC. He had been locked up in a juvenile facility but he managed to get his act together and graduate from high school (Spingarn).
My brother DC cop Sgt. Earl ‘Bull’ Bell with the first black DC Chief of Police, Burtell Jefferson. Bull Bell was the Heavyweight champion U. S. Army in Mannheim, Germany.
“Trying to out run racism is like trying to out run the sun”, those were the words of NFL Hall of Fame player DE Bruce Smith on his trade in 2000 from the Buffalo Bills to the Washington Redskins. My brother Earl made the same observation in the U. S. Army in 1969.
Sgt. Bull Bell faced racism at every turn in the U. S. Army. In 1966 he tried unsuccessfully to have segregated off-base housing in Nuremberg declared off-limits to military personel but was rebuffed. In 1969 his relentless drive reached a climax at a segregated discotheque in downtown Nuremberg. He had been refused admission previously. He led 35 militant troops in a march that almost ended in violence, especially when his colleagues Military Police (mostly white) were rushed to the scene. He told Jet Magazine in 1969, “Next year, when I complete my present hitch, I am not going to re-enlist. I am giving up the Army because there’s too much racism.” Jet Magazine August 28, 1969. The more things change the more they remain the same.
Did you see the President of the United States Donald Trump in his first debate with former Vice-President Joe Biden in 2020? It was the worst presidential debate I have ever seen. Trump and members of his White staff were later infected with the coronavirus. This was after telling the American people it was a hoax for seven months. Lying has become the American way. In October 2020 over 8+ million Americans had been infected and 210, 000+ were dead–because of a lie coming out of the White House. Thousands of lives could have been saved if our President had been honest with the American people.
This segment of my book is titled “Spooks who Sit by the Door” was inspired by a blog sports talk show titled “Inside and Out of Sports” (sounded like a spin-off of Inside Sports). The host was Butch McAdams a former mentee, he was interviewing several Spingarn High School athletes that included NBA Hall of Fame player Dave Bing. Each one of them I had played with and against in pick-up basketball on the playgrounds in NE DC. Three of the five were forgettable.
The reason I am writing this segment is because it was brought to my attention to checkout the Fake News stories that were being told on the show. Butch was one of my young men from back in the day. I watched him grow up in the U street NW corridor. He usually ends his talk shows saying, “Life is tuff, but it is tuffer when you are stupid”.
The biggest problems during that podcast were the lies and disrespect that four out of the five guest claimed they loved our high school basketball coach, the late Rev. Dr. William Roundtree like a father–nothing could be further from the truth.
I know a lie when I hear one, I have told and heard my share despite my grandmother’s early advice. In several back to back podcast shows in September 2020 Butch didn’t take his own advice. His guest were all former Spingarn High School basketball players. Maybe it was coincidental, but all five followed my appearance on the same podcast.
The lies coming from “In and Out of Sports” was much like the presidential debate, it was the worst I have ever heard in my 50+ years in sports media. Why so bad–the host Butch McAdams didn’t do his homework? He should have known better, he claims, Harold Bell as his mentor–I am officially relieving him of any such claims in the future.
He can follow the lead of ESPN’s Michael Wilbon. When I called Wilbon out publicly for lie, after lie, he then proclaimed GT coach John Thompson as his mentor. Butch can now claim James Brown (CBS) as his mentor. Wilbon and Brown have the same “Pedigree!”
I cannot remember when I heard sports talk take a fatal turn for the worst as I did listening to Butch McAdams during this particular podcast. He was hosting a platform honoring basically “Spooks who now sit by the Door”. These guys are the best examples of black men who are envious and jealous of the success of others.
Unlike the author Sam Greenlee for his best seller, “Spook who sat by the Door”. The book was written in 1969 could have easily been inspired by the Black Panthers. They were found in Oakland, California in 1966. Their mission was to enhance the growth and inspire the black community. These so-called brothers led by Dave Bing now sit behind the door, their mission is to stump the growth and progress of Black America.
Bing declared his run for the office of Mayor here in DC in 2008. He was forewarned by me that running for Mayor in Detroit, “was a Deadend Street.” He was swored into office in 2009 as the Mayor of Detroit.
Accoding to Forbes Magazine, “He was ineffective as Mayor often clashing with city unions and the city council.” He was featured on the cover of Forbes in June 2011 in a story titled, ‘The City of Hope’. Detroit became “Hopeless” during his reign as Mayor. He led them into bankruptcy on July 18, 2013 it was the biggest bankruptcy of a U. S. city ever filed, estimated to be 18-20 billion dollars. The city of Detroit exceeding Jefferson County, Alabama’s bankruptcy of 4 billion dollar filing in 2011.
Bing was never the sharpess knife in the drawn dating back to his high school days or at Syracuse University!
Today in the black community we honor thieves and liars. Butch McAdams had a fullhouse, he was honoring several liars with a joker in the deck (Dave Bing).
We name streets and buildings after these liars and thieves. Their hand prints can be found on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, their names in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL halls of fame, statures of them can be found in the public square and in front of sports stadiums. There are streets and buildings named after them on college campuses!
These same liars and thieves can also be Mayors of our inner-cities and others nominated to the Federal and Supreme Courts for life and voted President of the United States! Adults are always asking, “What is wrong with our children”? The question should be, what is wrong with us the so-called adults?
I was embarrassed, when I heard the podcast In and Out of Sports host Butch McAdams allowing four of the five wanna-bees former Spingarn athletes play him like a drum. He knew absolutely nothing about DC playground basketball history played in the 50s-60s and 70s. Whatever he knew was all, ‘he say she say’. It was the blind leading the blind.
You can tell a lie on me and hope I don’t hear about it, but don’t tell a lie on a dead man when he cannot defend himself. Coach Roundtree was a jewel in the black community. He is no longer with us–gone too soon (2005), because these same hypocrites did not support and help him to smell the flowers while he lived.
The former players, George ‘Dee’ Williams, Roy ‘Monk’ Wilkins, Ollie Johnson, Donald ‘Pom Pom’ Hicks and Dave Bing were the guest on the podcast.
Butch should have swore in each guest in like they do in a court of law, make them put their hand on the Bible and swear to “Tell the truth and nothing but truth, so help them God”! Four out of five were born liars and a stack of Bibles would have been in vain. One thing is evident, Butch didn’t learn from me, ‘When you don’t know you ask someone’.
The playgrounds we played on were Brown, Henry T. Blow, Carver, Watts, and Kelly Miller. It was the 50s and 60s and all five were younger than me, but listening to the interview you would have thought these guys had come down with a case of dementia. Dementia was not the problem and they were too old to sound so stupid. I didn’t recall any of the BS that had Butch McAdams jumping up and down and sounding like a “Groupie”! Some of the lies that were being told you have would thought they played somewhere in the twi-light zone or on planet Mars far from the playgrounds in NE DC which were my domain.
These so-called legends, especially, Dave and Monk Wilkins, they played Butch McAdams like a drum. First, Butch didn’t do his homework and they took advantage of him because he didn’t know or understand the landscape of NE playground basketball.
My problem, I found troubling, Dave Bing using our Coach Dr. Rev. Roundtree’s name in vain.
For years Dave answered all my calls when it came to the community. He was a participant on Inside Sports whenever I needed him, but some how he lost his way when it came to his former teammate and friend Bernard Levi. He also came up short with Coach Rev. Roundtree. He failed miserably when he did not reach back to to help those that knew him when he had nothing. Dave never seem to understand that the only thing in America a black man owns is his word.
Among the guest on In and Out of Sports, one is liar and he was also a petty theft (Bing), one was insecure because he never got a college education (Monk), one is a born cheerleader and was near a nervous breakdown while working in Detroit (Hicks), one shot and almost killed his high school teammate while playing with a gun (Dee). The other is a nice guy who was a No. 1 draft of the NBA Boston Celtics (Ollie). He was cut after he led the team in scoring and rebounding during the exhibition season.
Despite Bill Russell, he refuse to finish last by reaching back to help others. Bill’s problem, he was pissed off because Ollie had broken every record he own at the University of San Francisco. Ollie’s No. 32 jersey was retired in 1974 and he was inducted into the school’s hall of fame in January 2014.
Ollie is the only one to get a “PASS” from me. He returned from a tour of playing basketball in Europe to take a job with Giant Food and for several decades proceeded to reach back to hire dozens of brothers and sisters from “The Hood”! His older brother Andrew filled his void of supporting our coach, Rev. Roundtree.
When Coach Roundtree retired from the DC Public school system he gave up the finer things in life. He brought his ministry and his family to the inner-city on Good Hope Road in SE DC to enhance and improve the lives of young people. He opened the SE Youth Development Center for the neighborhood and held Church on Sundays. It was a pretty rough neighborhood. I would stop by to check on him from time to time and offer any support that I could. My non-profit Kids In Trouble and Inside Sports programs were well established in the DMV in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
This success would not have been possible without my coaches, teachers, the maintance workers and a beat cop who had my back. My senior year at Spingarn I was homeless. In 1986 I decided to host a ‘Thank You Tribute Luncheon’ for those unselfish core of public servants.
I met with my partner in all things community, friend and former high school teammate, Andrew Johnson. He had a successful and legendary career in law enforcement. He was a DC beat cop and a successful homicide detective. He retired as a supervisor for the DEA. Andrew joined me in supporting Coach Roundtree–we felt we owed him that much.
In the meantime, we had to locate our teachers, coaches, the maintance workers and the beat cop to invite them to the luncheon. Our principal Dr. Williams jumped right in and provided addresses for all the teachers and maintance workers who no longer worked in the system. Doc was a happy camper, he kept asking us whose idea was this? He was heard saying, “I have never heard of anything like this”.
Bill Lindsey was one of the founders and owners of the popular Foxtrappe Night Club and he was a track and field star and a Spingarn alumnus. He was now the owner of Mingles Restaurant located at 14th and L streets NW. He loved the idea and we moved forward. It was my most satisfying reach-back program. It was a great outing, thanks to Bill Lindsey and his staff–first class.
Andrew tracked down officer Dixon and several other students and teammates. My wife Hattie mailed the invitations and made calls to former student/athletes. I made the calls to Elgin Baylor (GM LA Clippers) and Dave Bing they were at the top of my list. Bing accepted the invitation and Elgin had the usual excuse when he was asked to come home and participate in a community event, “Harold, I am sorry I have a conflict”! Somethings never change.
“Happy Youngsters Flock to Roundtree City Mission”!
A reporter from the Washington Times Gail Campbell covered the luncheon. She interviewed several former students about how were they influenced by our teachers and coaches? There were several interesting paragraphs in the story describing Coach Roundtree and his impact. Her story read, “As coach of the school’s varsity basketball team , he made some of his lasting friendships—supporters who today are trying to help him raise enough money to expand the Southeast Youth Development Center into better quarters.
One of his most notable former students is Dave Bing, formerly a player for the NBA Detroit Pistons and Washington Bullets. Dave was quoted saying, ” I grew in Washington and my whole high school career was under him (Roundtree)”. Mr. Bing said from his office in Detroit where he is president of Bing Steel. “He inducted me into the Michigan Hall of Fame a couple of years ago (1984) .”
“It is too bad there are not a lot more Dr. Roundtrees,” Mr. Bing said. He had a very positive impact on my life.One of the things I can remember under his tutelage is that he tried to get me to develop to the fullest.”
“He always stressed how important it was to compete by getting a good education, not just athletically. It did not surprise me when he went into the ministry. He was never a macho kind of person. He was always very low key and straight forward, Mr. Bing said.
Dave never kept his word, he never came back to the SE Youth Development Center or Rev. Roundtree, the man he once claimed was like a father to him! After one financial struggle after another, Coach Roundtree died in 2005 dead broke!
I was surprised by him not keeping his word to our coach. I was the first to introduce Dave on how to use his NBA notoriety to reach back into the community and help others.
It all started in 1967 Bing’s rookie year in the NBA, he was named to the NBA All-Star team. The game would be played in the Baltimore Civic Center in February. On Friday two days before the game there was a shooting after a high school basketball game between Spingarn and McKinley Tech on the campus of Spingarn. A Spingarn student was the victim, but he would live to tell about it. There was talk of revenge, I was a member of the DC Recreation Department Roving Leader’s Youth Gang Task Force.
I was assigned to go to the scene of the crime. The thinking was since I was a Spingarn alumnus and former athlete I might be able to quell the talk of revenge. When I arrived on the scene several students were talking loud and saying nothing that made any sense. The cops on the scene didn’t seem to have a clue. The student with the biggest and loudest mouth I pulled him to the side trying to figure out their next plan of action. He looked at me like I was crazy and walked away. This was a deadend street, I had to come up with my own plan of action.
I walked to the other side of Benning Road to an old student hangout, Sporty’s carry out. I ordered a hot dog and soda. It was a beautiful evening. I went outside and sat on someone’s front steps and enjoyed my hot dog and soda.
There were two’brothers’ standing at the bus stop talking basketball and one said to the other, “Man you know the NBA All-Star game is in Baltimore on Sunday!” He immediately got my attention reminding me Dave Bing was voted on to this year’s team–jackpot problem solved.
I had known Dave since he was a youngster growing up on the playgrounds of Watts and Kelly Miller in NE DC. I watched him go from a playground “crybaby” to a full blown All-American and NBA Hall of Fame player. Playground basketball in the 50s, 60s and 60s was played like a version of the NFL “bump and run” very physical, but seldom dirty!
Saturday morning I was headed to Baltimore to rendezvous with Dave. I arrived in Baltimore around 9:30 am and camped out in front of the Baltimore Civic Center player’s entrance. Dave arrived with his teammate Bob Lanier about 10:45 am. He was surprised and glad to see me. He introduced me to Bob and we sat outside to talk about why I was there. I updated him on the shooting at Spingarn and that I needed him to come to the school on Monday morning after the All-Star game to speak to the students. He agreed to meet me at the school. This was his first reach-back effort as an NBA player-perfect timing.
When he walked into the Spingarn auditorium on that Monday morning, the students gave him a standing ovation. They had just seen him on national television the day before playing in the NBA All-Star Game representing Spingarn High School. His words of wisdom quelled the talks of revenge and there would be peace in the streets until the next shooting!
Dave came home that summer after being named “NBA Rookie of the Year”. I was sitting in my favorite restaurant ‘Franks’ on the U Street NW corridor having lunch and in he walks with my childhood friend, Arnold George. We hug and shook hands and I congratulated him on being named NB Rookie of the Year. He says, “Harold Bell you help prepare me for the NBA”! I was lost for words and we just laughed.
I knew exactly what he was talking about. He was a crybaby and I went nose to nose with him when we met on the playground or in Spingarn’s annual alumni games during the holidays. I would call him out and say, “Stop crying MF and play”. During that era there were several who tried to intimidate you if you let them, but I was not an intimidator or one to be intimidated.
The intimidators had names like, Gene Strong, Pete Lee, Gary Mays, Earl Richards and big mouth Zack Malachi. I never backed down from them either. John Thompson’s high school teammate Tom Hoover tried to bring his Parkview playground bully tactics to Brown one weekend and I said, “Hell no” with Sandy Freeman standing nearby!
I will never forget there was one Sunday at Brown playground Sandy saved me from a good ass whipping from one my heroes, intimidator Earl Richards. Earl and I grew up in the same Parkside neighborhood. He was a great all-around athlete at Armstrong High School and St. Augustine College in North Carolina. I looked up to him.
On this paticular Sunday we had gathered to play and Earl challenged me to a one on one until we had enough players to run whole court. I was shooting lights out then, I knew better than try to drive to the basket on him, if I did there was the possibility my lights would definitely be out.
If I remember correctly, I was up by two and Earl left an opening for me to drive to the basket and close him out. I did–big mistake. The next thing I knew I was getting up off the court bleeding from the mouth and he was standing over me. I picked myself up went into my pocket for my trusted razor and it was not for a shave. Thank God for Sandy Freeman, he jumped in between the two us. Sandy didn’t only protect John Thompson, he also protected dam fools like me.
In 1968 the DC Recreation Department sponsored a trip to Michigan State University for a youth and police seminar. I was among the Roving Leaders selected to make the trip. We arrived on a Sunday morning and Dave picked me up on campus that evening. The two of us had dinner and I spent the night at his home. On the ride back to campus the next morning, he talked excitedly about a basketball camp he would be having in the Poconos Mountains (Pennsylvania) during the summer. He invited me to bring some kids to the camp–done deal.
In that 1974 Washington Star-News paper story written by J. D. Beatha, wrote, “If success is measured in terms of financial reward, here’s a man who hasn’t made it. But there are hundreds of inner-city kids who will vouch for the success of–HAROLD BELL.
When Bernard Levi got locked up I started to think about ways to get him out of the jail. One of the first things I did was to call Dave asking him to write him a letter to let him know he was not forgotten. I waited a couple of weeks and never got a response, but rumors started to circulate among his cheerleaders saying, “Dave didn’t want to be associated with any criminals”! I was not a happy camper hearing those rumors. I would use my White House contacts to connect me to Mr. Norman Carlson, the Director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. My brother Earl and I would later drive to Lewisburg Prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to meet with Levi and later with Mr. Carlson.
Santa’s Helper Byron Kirkley stands next to his coach Rev Roundtree during Kids In Trouble annual toy party for the Youth Developement Center. Byron was the only one of the Spingarn team to return to lend a helping handfor his former coach.
The Levi family live several blocks from Mr. Jackson. On the way back home my mother would stop to visit Mrs. Levi. Bernard, Earl and I would use this time to walk over to the basketball court behind Carver Elementary School. We would play one on one until one of his sisters came to tell us my mother was ready to go home.
Bernard was facing 10 to 20 years for felony bank robbery. He was release after serving three years, thanks to Mr. Carlson.
The two-faces of Bing would resurface in the NBA when he and his teammates conspired to get NBA pioneer Earl Lloyd fired from his head coaching job with the Detroit Pistons. Earl should have been the the first black NBA hire, but imbedded racism in the Detroit Piston organization placed him second behind Bill Russell. Earl hailed from Alexandria, Virginia and played his playground basketball in DC (Parkview and Bannecker).
Earl and his first wife Ginny told me the story of the NBA munity led by Bing. It gets worst, when Dave made his NBA stop on the way out with the Washington Bullets, he brought some of that same baggage to DC. He has a history of bad mouthing his coaches. It all started with Earl Lloyd.
Dave changed his tune on In and Out of Sports, he claimed Earl Lloyd ‘The Best coach he ever played for’, and Dick Motto and KC Jones the worst. Meet the two-faces of Dave Bing. I would not buy a use car from this guy.
All of this backstabbing of K C came after a red hot Golden State Warriors’ team swept the Washington Bullets in four games in the 1975 NBA finals. Bickerstaff made similar statements around the league to several NBA referees that K C had no clue and he was actually doing the coaching.
KC hired this Negro with no NBA playing time or NBA experience. There is no loyalty among black men! Bernie has backstabbed his way around the league. He had several head coaching and front office jobs in the NBA, but never won a Championship. He brown-nosed long enough to get to the White House with the Chicago Bulls and get his son JB Bickerstaff a head coaching job in Cleveland in 2020 where he is now on the scouting staff-what price success!
I was one of the first to meet with Dave on his arrival in DC. We met at his Marlborough House apartment in Hillcrest Heights, Md. He had been in town for less than a week and the first thing that comes out of his mouth was, “KC Jones is a drunk and he is over rated as a coach”!
I jumped all over him right then and there. My question to Dave, “Why don’t you sit down with KC man to man and talk it out, he has the utmost respect for you”? His response, ‘I think its a little too late for that’. This sounded like a carry-over from Bernie Bickerstaff.
Dave repeated himself again on the Fake News show “In and Out of Sports” with host Butch McAdams, he claimed Bullet’s Coach Dick wanted him to change his style of play and he refused. Motto won an NBA championship in 1978 with the Bullets–Dave never won or played on a championship team.
Dave was so anxious to prove how successful he was after his career was over and done, he invited 30 of his teammates, friends, and family, mixed with several cheerleaders to Detroit. It was a “Show and Tell” about him. He paid for their roundtrip airfare and hotel lodgings.
He held parties for them at the hotel, and at his home in the suburbs. There was also a tour of his auto parts business in the city. Guess who was not invited to the tour with the rest of his high school teammates–their coach, Rev. Roundtree.
A guilty conscience and karma can and will comeback to hunt you. One of Dave’s ass kissers more than likely, Donald Hicks tried to talk Bernard Levi into making the trip, but Levi had not forgotten, how Dave had turned his back on him.
I was making plans to attend the hall of fame ceromonies when I stopped by the SE Youth Development Center to check on Coach Roundtree. I told him I was on the way to attend the Naismith Hall of Fame inductions this coming weekend. He took the high road, saying how happy he was for Dave and Wes Unseld the inductees, but he would not be attending!
This was a setback for me and I took it personal. Dave went on the record (newspaper) promising Coach Roundtree he would help to find him another center for the kids and he would support him financially. I watched Coach Roundtree struggle trying to hold things together and watched his health deteriorate.
My plans were to drive to Philadelphia and take a chartered bus to Springfield. The trip had been coordinated by NBA Hall of Fame and playground legend Sonny Hill. Earl Monroe a hometown boy was being inducted with Bing and Unseld. Earl and I had become close friends through our association with Winston-Salem State University legendary coach, Clarence BigHouse Gaines.
I called Sonny and told him I needed another ticket for the hall of fame and I would be bringing Coach Roundtree with me. He had three tickets left.
On our arrival in Springfield, Massachusetts it was beautiful sun shiny day. There were plenty of familiar faces, teammates, family and friends of the inductees. My first encounter was with Tim Bing a cousin of Dave. He wanted to know why Dave and I were beefing. I told him it was a long story and let it go at that. Trying to explain to someone’s relative why you are beefing with his kin is a no win situation–blood is thicker than water!
The great Oscar Robertson presented Dave at the induction. This where it gets tricky, I was there because I was associated with three of the inductees, Dave Bing, Earl Monroe and Wes Unseld. Coach Roundtree and I were sitting at Sonny Hill’s table when the introductions and the players were being inducted.
I am thinking the players were being presented in alphabetical order, Dave definitely went first, Earl behind him and Wes. During Dave’s presentation he thanked his family and finally got around to Coach Roundtree who was sitting next to me. Dave had him stand and thanked him for all that he had done to help make this honor possible.
Earl followed Dave to the podium and thanked his family, friends, Coach Bighouse Gaines, Sonny Hill and to my surprise he had me stand and thanked me for my community reach back in DC through my non-profit Kids In Trouble, Inc. During his career Earl was a mainstate at my Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Shows and Tennis Tournaments. The look on Dave’s face was a Kodak Moment!
I flunked out of Winston-Salem my freshman year. I was still trying to go to hell in hurry. Bighouse broke the bad news to me. He said, “We don’t have any money for summer school for dumb-ass athletes” you can get ready to head back to the ghetto.” I was ready to go home with no ‘Game Plan’ of what I was going to do once I got back to D C
Several days went by waiting for Bighouse to bring me my bus ticket back to the ghetto. He finally shown up and told me that my ‘Guardian Angel’ had come to my rescue. He said, “Your daddy send you money for summer school”! My daddy? I had seen my father once in 10 years. He was talking about Coach Dave Brown.
Bighouse told me I needed to find a job and a place to stay. He took care of both, he got me a job in a unforgiving hot tobacco factory and I stayed with him, his wife and kids until he could find me a room in the city. I was scheduled to be a starting WR the next year, and hopefully win a spot on the basketball team, but he killed my basketball dreams because of my grades.
I never finished my degree in Elementary Education at Winston-Salem, but my educational sense, Street Sense, Common Sense and Book Sense was enhanced thanks to Bighouse and the Winston-Salem family. I left to chase my NFL dreams and check on my younger brother and mother who had been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown in DC.
Some of the best advice ever given to me was by Grandma Bell. I remember when I started to smell myself as an athlete and media personality, it was one Sunday she sat me down after church and said, “Grandson I want you to promise me one thing, you will always tell the truth, because a lie will change a thousand times, but the truth never changes”!
I never questioned Grandma, and never knew what made her want to pass that advice on to me, but it has served me well.
When I received the 2020 National Association of Black Journalist Pioneer Award, I thanked Grandma Bell–it was the icing on the cake.
I was not sitting around waiting for the NABJ’s stamp of approval–God already knew my story. Their approval proved, the hard truths, and the no holds barred interviews that highlighted my media career were not in vain.
A lot of sports history was made in 1972 and beyond. Inside Sports made its debut on talk radio on 1450 AM W-O-O-K Radio. I became the first black to host and produce his own sports talk radio show in DC. Inside Sports changed the way we talk sports in America and the show became the talk of the town.
In 1972 John Thompson Jr. made sports history when was named the head basketball coach at Georgetown University, it also made him the first black to hold the position. He struggled in those first years to win games had little or no following. Radio, television, print media outlets ignored him and his struggles.
I was the only black media personality with a sports talk show. I had known John since he was a student at Brown Middle School in NE DC in the 50s. I gave him five-minutes every Monday to promote Georgetown basketball–no charge.
1972 in Cleveland, Ohio Muhammad Ali makes Don King the first ever black boxing promoter. Ali, “It was my biggest mistake.”
Richard M. Nixon on August 8, 1974 announced he was resigning as President of the United States due to the Watergate scandal. I met Nixon at the exclusive Burning Tree Golf Course in Bethesda, Md. in 1957. He was then the Vice-President of the United States.
Sugar Ray Leonard returns home with gold medal around his neck looking for a ticker tape parade, but media calls him out for having a baby out of wedlock. He loses his self-esteem and goes into hiding. Harold Bell becomes his mentor and leads him out of the darkness. He beats Wilfred Benitez for welterweight boxing title in 1979. He becomes boxing ‘Cash Cow’. He makes pro boxing history and becomes the first professional boxer to earn 100 million dollars.
The Washington Bullets win their first ever NBA Championship in 1978 beating the Seattle Super Sonics 105-99 in seven games.
In 1978 Corporate America was written on everything I touched. There was more success when I became the first hired Sports and Marketing consultant/rep for Nike Shoes and Sports & Marketing rep for Budwiser all in the same calendar year. There were spooks who sat by the door at each stop. There was GT Coach John Thompson, Jr. with Nike and Walter Ray with Budwiser Beer.
In 1980Washingtonian Magazine named me one of their Washingtonians’ of the Year, making me the first sportscaster to be honored.
In 1984 John Thompson, Jr. became the first black to win a NCAA Division One basketball championship.
In 1988 Inside Sports was the No. 1 sports talk show in the DMV. My sponsors were the Maryland Lottery and Coca-Cola. Kids In Trouble was headed into its second decade.
When QB Doug Williams arrived in Washington, DC in 1986 his friend Bob Piper asked me to protect his back. In 1988 Doug became the first black QB to win a Super Bowl in NFL history. He led the Washington Redskins over the Denver Broncos 42-10.
As we arrived we heard the oohs ahhs coming from the court and there was Earl spinning and twisting around defenders like they didn’t exist. He was making shots that looked impossible. I waited my turn to play against him and I got the same treatment as the previous defenders–he was the real deal.
Also noteworthy, Dave asked our homeboy and Spingarn great alumnus Elgin Baylor to be his presenter for his Naismith Hall of Fame induction, Elgin’s response, “I have a conflict”! He settled for Oscar Robertson as his presenter.
Earl Monroe was a special guy to me. I met him for the first time off the campus of Winston-Salem State University in 1963. I remember my roommate from Chicago Barney Hood running into the cafeteria one afternoon. He was out of breath and all excited about a player he had seen on the basketball court near the campus. Barney was a hell of a varsity basketball player in his own right, so I dropped everything and headed to the court to checkout this player.
My visit to the playground was the beginning of a great friendship. I hated to see Earl leave Baltimore for New York City, but he told me, it was all about The Benjamins (money honey). Earl and I still remained close despite the miles apart. Hattie and I decided to go to New York one weekend and take in a play and I called Earl to see if we could hook up for lunch or dinner. He took it to another level. He got us tickets to the Knicks game, tickets to the play, gave us the keys to his apartment and took us to dinner after the game. It was a great weekend–thanks Earl.
Dave would eventually badmouth ‘The Pearl’, he told several of his cheerleading buddies that he had to lend Earl $25,000 dollars because of bad investments he made during his NBA career. It was no secret about Earl’s bad investments, but why tell everyone? Dave was insecure and this made him look like a big man–bigger and smarter than ‘The Pearl!’
Sometime around 2000 Dave invited The Usual Suspects/cheerleaders to a Detroit “Look at Me” affair, that included a tour of his business enterprises and his home in the suburbs. He would pay for their roundtrip airfare, hotel room, but they would have to pay for their own meals and bring their own pom-poms–Hicks was assigned to bring as many rolls of toilet paper as he could get in his suitcase.
There were at least 30 guest that included teammates Ollie Johnson, Donald Hicks, Monk Wilkins, Garland Logan and the late Byron Kirkley. The brothers Doc and Skeezie Payne, Fatty Taylor and others who I cannot ID at the moment were all in attendance.
I just don’t understand how brothers get so selfish when they get two-dollars and a little bit of fame. I went from a NE Outhouse to a NW White House and sat on a Mountain Top with the Greatest, Muhammad Ali–it does not get any better than that. None of those feats ever required me to kiss ass. Dave’s guilty conscience would not allow him to invite Coach Roundtree to Detroit. Coach would have enjoyed being among his former players.When you don’t keep your word–this is the type of BS that says who you really are!
I knew Marvin Gaye from the street corner do-wop sessions in Parkside and from my church, Mount Airy Baptist Church located on North Capitol and L streets NW. My great-grandfather laid the first brick to build the church in 1893.
One Sunday Marvin shown up at the church with his father who was a mininister to take part in a revival. We must have been 14 or 15 years old at the time. When Marvin spotted me he immediately put fingers up to his lips. He didn’t want his father to know he had been hanging out in my housing project singing do-wop, according to his father was the devil’s music.
My mother moved us from Parkside to 58th Blaine Streets NE in 1956 to ‘Simple City’, Marvin moved right down the street from us with Grealdine Adams aka ‘Peasey’. She was our baby sitter in Parkside for me and my brother Earl when our mother went out to party on the weekends.
Marvin later told me his father had put him out and he moved in with Peasy, but he was going to join the service. We use to catch the bus in the morning heading to school, him to Cardozo and me to Spingarn. A week later he broke the news to me he was joining the Air Force.
Dave even lied about his relationship with Marvin. He made a claim that he played against Marvin at Watts playground in his neighborhood. Nothing could be further from the truth. Marvin and I were good friends and never once did he mention or say while we were living on 58th Blaine Street NE, “Harold lets walk around to the playground and shoot some hoops.”
Marvin and I met by surprise at Caesar’s Palace in 1979 at the weight-in between Sugar Ray Leonard and Andy Price for the Welterweight Championship. I had no idea that Marvin own 1/3 of Price’s contract. Leonard and Price were both undefeated. When I told Marvin I was in the Sugar Ray Leonard’s camp he laughed and said, “When Andy knocks Ray out you can come and work for me”! Famous last words.
Marvin sung the national anthem and before he could get back to his seat Ray had knocked Price out in the first round. Marvin and I had made plans to play tennis the next morning, but with Andy getting knocked out in the first round I did not think it was going to happen. It was around 7 am the next morning he called and told me to me him for breakfast. We spend two-hours talking about our hometown and my plans for the future. It was like a family reunion between the two of us. Ray Leonard and Andy Price never entered our conversation. He made arrangements to get me tickets for the Diane Ross concert in Caesar’s Palace later that evening. We met at the theatre and he gave me two tickets for me and my friend George Nock and disappeared.
Our next time to meet was to be in Detroit when Thomas ‘Hit Man’ Hearns met Pipino Cuevas in 1980. The Hit Man needed only two rounds to win his first championship. Sugar Ray Leonard and the ‘Hit Man’ were on a collision course.
My last communication with Dave was when he came home in 2008 to make the announcement he was running for Mayor of Detroit. The announcement was to be made at the Fontainebleau on 450 in Lanham, Maryland. I could not understand why he was running for Mayor of Detroit and I decided to attend the event. He was made to feel right at home the cheerleaders were everywhere.
I approached him shortly his announcement and asked the question, “Dave why are you running for Mayor of Detroit, its a “Deadend Street”?
Everyone of them use Coach Roundtree’s name in vain! Butch, I know of no one who has reached back into the community other than Marion Barry? He forgot Dave Bing made his community debut at Hillcrest Saturday Program. Officer Ray Dixon never mentioned! Closing of Spingarn?
Washington DC, Prince Georges County and the country recently lost a true public servant, Daryl Pennington. Congressman Steny Hoyer went to the House floor on Wednesday September 16th to disclose his friend and trusted community advocate for Prince Georges County’s 5th District, Daryl Pennington was called home to be with the Lord.
Daryl Pennington was more than a community advocate to those she served in the name of Congressman Steny Hoyer. I have broken bread with some of the most powerful politicians in America, the good, the bad and the ugly. President Richard Nixon being at the top of the list, followed by Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Bob Dole (R-Kan), Lou Stokes (D-Ohio), Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore), Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga), Walter Fauntroy (D-DC), Perrin Mitchell (D-Baltimore), Hank Johnson (D-Ga), and local politicians, Mayor Walter Washington (D-DC) and Mayor Marion Barry (D-DC), none were blessed with the likes of a Dary Pennington on their team.
I was introduced to Daryl by her close friend Gloria Gaddy a community and senior advocate in Bowie, Md. over a decade ago. My wife Hattie and I were having a problem with the Social Security Administration and later a problem with a local bank. First, Congressman Hoyer made an inquiry by letter to Social Security (problem solved) and a telephone call to the local bank ( problem solved). What made Daryl so special to me was sometimes weeks would go by and you would think she had forgotten and she would call and say, “Mr. Bell, I am on top of it”. I can imagine her caseload was off the charts, but she always found time to reach out and reach back.
For example, it took me 45 years to edit an exclusive one on one 1974 interview (Rumble in the Jungle) with the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, Muhammad Ali. I finally arranged to debut the documentary/interview on the big screen at the Miracle Theatre on Capitol Hill in NE Washington, DC, I invited Gloria and Daryl to my coming out party with Muhammad Ali.
In the meantime, Daryl brought my Ali project to the attention of Congressman Hoyer. On Sunday November 24, 2019 she read a proclamation from the stage of the theatre from the congressman congratulating me on my historical accomplishment.
Daryl, was all over the place when it came to her friends and the constituents of Prince Georges County, When Gloria had her house warming last summer she was there. Gloria and her daughter Candi have a young man in their new home, their grandson and son, his name is Miles. He is a high school teenager and sometimes he strays a little off the beaten path, Daryl teamed up with Gloria and Candi as a mentor to help keep him grounded. I am sure there are dozens of other stories of her good works in our community.
Thank you Congressman Hoyer for sharing Daryl with us, her light will continue to shine bright–gone too soon. Peace and blessings.
CONGRESS STENY HOYERS’ REMARKS ON THE HOUSE FLOOR ADDRESSING THE SPEAKER OF HOUSE ON WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 16, 2020.
“Madam Speaker, it is with profound sadness that I share the news that a great friend and public servant has passed away. Daryl Ann Pennington was a dear friend, trusted member of my staff, and a tireless advocate for Maryland’s Fifth District. For the past twelve years, Daryl served as a caseworker in my office in Greenbelt, Maryland, serving Prince George’s, Calvert, and Anne Arundel counties. Earlier, she had worked for former Maryland State Senator Ulysses Currie. She knew the Fifth District and its communities better than almost anyone.
“And she cared deeply about the people who called, emailed, and wrote to us asking for assistance with federal agencies and help accessing government services. In particular, Daryl was a fierce advocate for our district’s seniors. But she was also a mentor to countless young people, including interns who came to our district office and learned lessons from Daryl not only about serving our constituents but how to approach life through perseverance, faith, and positivity.
“Daryl drew heavily on her personal faith as a member of the Evangel Cathedral Church in Upper Marlboro for more than a quarter century and as a partner with Dr. Corinthia Ridgely Boone of the International Christian Host Coalition organizing the National Capital Region’s Day Of Prayer for many years. She believed strongly that prayer was a powerful tool – not only to connect with her Creator but to connect with others here on Earth, to communicate her love for others, and to spread peace and joy to those around her.
“Her sense of humor, her wit, and her warmth will all be sorely missed. I – and all of us who worked so closely with Daryl – will miss her very much. Daryl had so many spiritual daughters in the many young women who looked up to her over the years as a mentor and friend. But her pride and joy were her five children – Laura, Christie, Toi, Peter, and Lenny – as well as her grandchildren, to whom she was devoted.
“A native of Rochester, New York, Daryl made her final journey home in July, when she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and departed Maryland to seek treatment closer to family at the University Of Rochester Medical Center. We had all hoped to welcome her back soon, but sadly Daryl’s condition worsened quickly last week, and she passed away on Saturday morning, with her family by her side.
“Daryl was a true friend and partner in service to the people of Maryland’s Fifth District. She will long be remembered by those she helped and by those of us who worked closely with her. Her passing is a great loss to my constituents, to our office, to this House, and to our country.
“I hope my colleagues will join me in offering her family the condolences of the whole house and the thanks of a nation grateful for patriotic Americans like Daryl Ann Pennington who serve their country and communities so dutifully. Now, Daryl rests in peace with God, whom she served so faithfully throughout her life.
Video of Congressman Steny Hoyer’s remarks on the House floor
During the 1968 riots the Public Safety Director was a man by the name of Patrick V. Murphy. In 1967 Mayor Walter Washington the city’s first black Mayor hired him as the Director of the DC Police and Fire Departments. Mr. Murphy moved up through the ranks of the New York City Police Department. He became recognized as a leader among law enforcement officials seeking ways to deter the violence and racial unrest that simmered just below the surface of American life in the 1960s. He was a reform-minded law enforcement official who hailed from New York City. He was nationally known for trying to defuse tensions between police and inner-city residents. He shaped and supervised the District’s efforts to deal with the historic rioting of 1968. Mr. Murphy was recognized as a champion of restraint. In particular, he tried to minimize the use of force and trained police officers to respect the rights and dignity of the poor and the voiceless. Mr. Murphy came to Washington in 1965 as a Justice Department official before being appointed the District’s first director of public safety in 1967.
In 1967 I became a Roving Leader for Department of Recreation & Parks as a Youth Gang Task Force member. Mr. Murphy quickly brought the Roving Leaders into the department and made us Community Partners.
Eager for improvement in the interaction between citizens and government, Mr. Murphy became an advocate of what later became known as community policing. He greatly increased the recruiting and promotion of members of minority groups in the police and fire departments.
When all hell broke loose on April 4, 1968 our Prince of Peace the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, we were ready thanks to Mr. Murphy. My co-worker the late Willie Wood of the NFL Green Bay Packers and me were standing on the corner of 9th U Streets NW on a bright sunshiny day. Someone in a car drove by and yelled “Harold Bell they just shot and killed Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee”.
Willie looked at me and said, “I think we got trouble my man”, within an hour smoke and flames had broken out all over the city. The terror and the disorder that broke out in Washington, DC caught everyone by surprise. Mr. Murphy, as the city’s public safety director, became the leader. The Nation’s Capital became the center of attention all over the world. Mr. Murphy had already reached out to community activist, youth advocates and the DC Department of Recreation & Parks Roving Leader Program Youth Gang Task Force. We were ask to assist police officers in community reach-back programs and it paid off. I thought we held the loss of life to single digits because of our training under Mr. Murphy, it was later reported that twelve people were killed. It was still the lowest loss of life compared to other cities. First, Willie Wood and I would team up with our friend pioneering U. S. Marshall in-charge, Luke C. Moore. We walked the U street NW corridor arm and arm until I was called by my boss Stanley Anderson. I was told Ass’t Chief Tilmon O’Bryant at the 3rd District HQ wanted to meet with me.
Chief O’Bryant was the highest ranking black official in the DC Police Department. He was so smooth I called him, “Cool Hand Luke”. He was a man of the streets, ‘The Original Officer Friendly’.
I made my way to the 3rd District HQ and to my surprise Chief O’Bryant was having Roll Call. He summoned me to come to stand by his side. I was in for another surprise, he swore me in and gave me a police badge, but no gun. The badge would allow me to pass through the police and military barricades set up around the city to contain the looters. The three days as a cop with no gun are three days I will never forget. There was one incident according to a story written in the Washington Post in 1978 by James Lardner, a former D.C. police officer. He wrote, “I remember well from the 1968 riots, there was an episode that illuminated Mr. Murphy’s policies and how he put them into practice. On the second full day of the riots, he encountered a confrontation at Sixth and M streets NW. As residents complained about how their neighbors had been treated. The police were on edge, Mr. Murphy stepped in and quietly told the people to go back to their homes.”
“He told the police, be courteous to these people. He then removed police
officers from the street and left it to military troops to disperse the crowd”.
The most significant move by Mr. Murphy to me was when he and Mayor Washington stood their ground against FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover sent an order out “shoot looters on sight”. Mayor Washington and Murphy both said, “Not on my watch”. Mr. Murphy was widely quoted as saying, “I will resign rather then carry out orders to shoot those making off with merchandise”. His thoughts, ‘lives were more important than merchandise’.
The rioting in Washington was among the most destructive in the nation. Thousands of federal troops were sent into the city, and thousands of residents were arrested. A dozen people were killed, fewer than the number who had died in rioting in other cities.
Merchants who had seen their businesses destroyed complained that the police had not been forceful enough, and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill lent a sympathetic ear. But Mr. Murphy, while deploring the destruction, was satisfied with the restraint shown by the police “Violence begets violence,” he said.
The businessmen were right to complain, but Mr. Murphy was right on, he put human life before merchandise. I recalled, the very first day of the riots the looters had a field day. They took everything that was not nailed down and there were no arrest. Evidently, Mr. Murphy decided to crack down the second day and friends of the looters and the looters didn’t like it!
Shortly after the 1969 inauguration of Richard M. Nixon as president, Mr. Murphy left his city government post and I left the DC Recreation Department’s Roving Leader Program for the Richard Nixon White House (Presidential Appointment).
As a decade of turbulent change drew to a close, Mr. Murphy was not In 1970 Hattie and me are in the Oval Office with President Richard Nixon and Secretary of Statewithout detractors. But he was widely viewed as a spokesman for police reform (50 years ahead of his time).
In 1970, he became police chief in Detroit. In the same year, when scandal threatened the department in his home town, he was called on by Mayor John V. Lindsay to head back to the New York City Police Department in the wake of devastating corruption.
In New York, he changed the formal policy on use of deadly force, permitting it only to defend life. The new approach became influential across the country. “If you were a big-city mayor with a slightly berserk police department on your hands,” Washington Post reporter, James Lardner wrote, “there was one preferred remedy. You hired Patrick V. Murphy.”
Where is Patrick Murphy when we need him? I never got the chance to thank Mr. Murphy for saving so many lives in my hometown. He died 2011 at the age of 91. RIP to a real life “Officer Friendly”.
Footnote: Keeping Patrick Murphy’s Police Community Relations forums and community policing hopes alive decades later.
I came into the living room on Wednesday, June 4, 2020, and I found my wife Hattie crying. I asked her what was wrong, but I saw she was watching the news and the report that the three other officers had been arrested in the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota. She said, “I wish daddy and mommy were here to see this.” I understood exactly what she was saying!
This is a little known black history fact as it relates to the bravery of black South Carolinians.
They help create America’s first modern day civil rights movement. The pictorial history can be found of the movement in the book “Out of the Box in Dixie”. Photographed and chronicled by civil rights famed photographer Cecil J. Williams. The book clearly shows the modern-day movement started in Clarendon, South Carolina long before Brown vs. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, and the lunch counter sit-ins.
Author Cecil Williams is a cousin of Dr. Charles H.Thomas Jr. Dr. Thomas was one of the leaders of the movement when it moved from Clarendon to Orangeburg, South Carolina in the ’50s. Cecil was still in high school but was armed with a camera and he would travel.
The Godfather of the civil rights movement was a brother by the name of Rev. Joseph DeLaine. In 1949 Rev. DeLaine and friend Harry Briggs organized a group of parents in Clarendon and formed a picket line and challenged school segregation in the county.
The Briggs vs Elliott petition bearing Harry Briggs’ name was the forerunner of Brown vs. Board of Education. Their challenge was the first to move to the Supreme Court. Several years later four other cases would evolve into Brown vs Board of Education. Famed civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall would represent the plaintiffs. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional.
My Spingarn high school basketball teammate the late Spotswood Bolling would be the lead plaintiff in integrating the Washington, DC Public School system (Bolling vs Board of Education). We thank Harry Briggs and Rev. DeLaine for their sacrifices and courage against all odds.
The white folks of Clarendon County also thanked Rev. DeLaine by burning his church to the ground. He would later have to flee for his life to New York City. The Clarendon County police took out a warrant for his arrest after he returned gunfire defending his family and home from members of the Klu Klux Klan. In New York City in 1956 the First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt the wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attended a rally on behalf of Rev. DeLaine at MadisonSquareGarden with actress Tulalah Bankhead.
With Rev. DeLaine exiled to New York City, the Clarendon County Klan thought they had ended the fight for freedom in South Carolina but his neighbors in Orangeburg County had his back.
Attorney Thurgood Marshall would become an advisor to the Orangeburg freedom fighters led by a “Dream Team” of civil rights leaders that included members of the NAACP, clergy, and the late Dr. Charles H. Thomas Jr. a Professor of Psychology at South Carolina StateUniversity. Thurgood Marshall would go on to become the first black judge to be seated on the Supreme Court.
During one student uprising, the OrangeburgCounty police swooped down on protesters and locked up over 350 students. They were held in an outdoor jail like a stockade, it reminded many of Nazi Germany. The New York Times published a front-page picture of students in the stockade.
Dr. Thomas and the entire Thomas clan were on the front lines of the civil rights movement. The Thomas Family without a doubt is the “First Family of Civil Rights” in Orangeburg County.
On several occasions, Dr. Thomas had to put up his house for collateral to get his children and other students out of jail. It was the norm for Atty. Mathew Perry to be summoned to get Hattie, Charlease, Loretta, Reggie, and Ann all out of the OrangeburgCounty jail. Cops and judges knew Thomas’ family by their name.
It was definitely a family affair. The family participation included Dr. Thomas’ wife Elease, sister Nancy and brother Milbren. They could be seen protecting his back on the picket line during marches in downtown Orangeburg. Future sons-in-law Weldon Hammond was a student and Robert Stevenson was teaching at South Carolina State. They also prove to be pains in the ass to law-enforcement.
Ann Thomas Riley the youngest daughter would be one of the first blacks to integrate the Orangeburg all-white high school and Harold Riley her husband was one the students shot during the “Orangeburg Massacre”
Schoolteacher Gloria Rackley was another important member of the Thomas clan she was known to the family as Aunt Gloria. She was a true warrior where ever you saw the Thomas clan she was just a step behind. Her ties were so strong to the family and the NAACP the OrangeburgCounty school system threatened her with dismissal if she did not cut her ties.
She walked away and continued to fight.
When Charlease was arrested the cops tried to separate her from the rest of the protesters because she was Dr. Thomas’ daughter. It was Gloria Rackley who got between her and the cops and said “no way.” Gloria’s daughter Lurma would later become the Press Secretary for DC Mayor Marion Barry and now is the PR rep for Atlanta, Georgia Urban League Director
The fight for civil rights got so intense in Orangeburg the Rev. Martin Luther King (insert) made his presence known at a rally as a spectator in January 1963.
Dr. Thomas’s leadership as President of the local chapter of the NAACP is legendary. His advisor and right hand were Attorney Mathew Perry. Attorney Perry would show up in a courtroom and the white judges would immediately take a bathroom break and sometimes would not come back.
Attorney Perry would go on to become the first black judge to be seated on the South Carolina Court of Appeals.
Dr. Thomas started and founded voter registration on the campus of South Carolina State University, it would spread throughout the state. He was also a pain in the ass for white folks and the Uncle Toms in Orangeburg. The white folks had their “House Negroes” who would sit in on the strategy meetings and report the upcoming plans to their white bosses. It got so bad Dr. Thomas and the other coordinators of the marches and boycotts had to have two meetings. In the first meeting, they would give out misleading information and plans for the ‘House Negroes’ to carry back to their bosses. The second meeting would be held to discuss the true plan. Sixty years later that type of plantation mentality is still holding us back.
The Orangeburg Massacre was the worst murder of students on an educational institution in the history of this country (including Kent State).
White law-enforcement would lead Claflin and South Carolina State students on peaceful daylight marches to downtown Orangeburg but under the cover of darkness, they became deadly assassins.
In 1968 highway patrolmen and local cops shot and killed three students and wounded 27 more. My brother-in-law Harold Riley a native of Orangeburg took two bullets that night and watched his friend Samuel Hammond die. One bullet is still lodged in his leg. These hideous acts were carried out without provocation on the campus of South Carolina State University.
On that fateful night, students were first participating in a peaceful march and demonstration at a local segregated bowling alley just off-campus.
There might have been some name-calling among the student-directed toward law-enforcement. The cops evidently took it personal and without warning started shooting in the direction of the students who retreated to their campus. When the smoke had cleared three students were dead. The cops claimed they were fired on first and forty years later they have yet to come up with a smoking gun. In 2009 despite a black man in the White House, there is still Justice and Just-Us in America!
I read a story titled “The Morning After” in the Washington Post written by black columnist Eugene Robinson. The story was related to the election of America’s first Black President I almost brought up my breakfast of grits, eggs, and sausage. Robinson was interviewing Georgia Democrat and civil rights icon John Lewis and said something like “I think John Lewis is one of the most courageous men of the civil rights crusade. I thought of the beating he took on the Pettis Edmond Bridge and the scars his body still bears.” What makes Robinson’s observation so ridiculous is the fact that this brother has roots in Orangeburg, South Carolina. His father taught at Claflin University during the height of the civil rights crusade and he does not have a clue. The struggles of the pioneers in Clarendon and Orangeburg counties were never mentioned in his column.
The real heroes of the civil rights crusade were young black men like the three brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice, they gave their lives.
John Lewis’ contributions are commendable but they are pale in comparison.
Highway Patrolmen stand over the fallen bodies of two students Delano Middleton, Samuel Hammond, and Henry Smith died like animals with white cops standing over them with guns pointed and yelling “Die nigger die” and they did. No man or woman in America should ever have to die like that and for Eugene Robinson not to be aware of the sacrifices of those young men is another crime in the black community. But there he is in the Washington Post and on National television every week claiming to be an expert on Black America. For this, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Something is wrong with this picture!
In the State Capitol of Columbia South Carolina, there stands a tall imposing statue of a man who stood and still stands for white supremacy—the late Senator Strom Thurmond.
During daylight hours he was seen preaching hate niggers and at night he was sleeping with one. He fathered a black child out of wedlock and unlike some deadbeat dads, he made sure she was properly cared for and received a good education. She was enrolled at South Carolina State where he would often visit her to make sure the hired hands were doing their job properly.
Dr. Thomas and Senator Thurmond had several eyeballs to eyeball confrontations during the movement. They would later become great friends out of respect for each other.
When Dr. Thomas decided that he had enough of the “Player Haters” and envy and jealous Negroes in Orangeburg he moved to DC his adopted hometown. It was Strom Thurmond who recommended him for a Presidential appointment to the Richard Nixon White House. Dr. Thomas would accept an appointment to become the Director of Equal Opportunity Employment for the United States Post Office.
Thanks to Dr. Thomas, Senator Thurmond and I became fast friends and he became a big supporter of Kids In Trouble, Inc. One Christmas he assigned his office staff to help me coordinate my toys for tots Christmas party and wrote several letters of reference for me.
Dr. Charles H. Thomas Jr. was inducted into the Black South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2005.
Congratulations to the trailblazing Tuskegee Airmen and the Little Rock 9 who all received invitations to the swearing-in of President Barrack Obama. Someone dropped the ball when they failed to invite The Thomas Circle.
Singing legend Sam Cooke had a concert in Columbia South Carolina during the height of the movement. He performed in front of a segregated audience. It is rumored that experience inspired him to write his classic “A Change is going to come.”
Sam Cooke was a prophet:
A CHANGE DID COME:
THE CHANGE———–SENATOR STROM THURMOND BECAME A CIVIL RIGHTS ADVOCATE
THE CHANGE———-BARRACK OBAMA THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT
THE CHANGE—-THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT FOUR WHITE COPS ARE ARRESTED FOR THE MURDER OF A BLACK MAN
Law Enforcement Way: Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin is caught on video with his knee on the neck of George Floyd. He makes himself judge and jury.
The Minneapolis black Police Chief Medaria Arradondo immediately fired all four officers involved in the death of George Floyd after seeing the above video. The video clearly shows Chauvin with his knee on the neck of George Floyd while he groans and pleads to the officer saying “I cannot breath”. Sound familiar, Eric Garner a black man died at the hands of four white New York City cops for selling loose cigarettes in 2014, he echoed the very same words ‘I cannot breath’. The brutal murder of George Floyd by four cops was also seen on video. With no arrest the question seem to be, “Who are you going to believe the video or your lying eyes”? Derek Chauvin was finally arrested on Friday and charged with 3rd degree murder.
The white Mayor, Jacob Frey was more on point, he stepped up front and center a day after this horrific crime at a press conference and said “George Floyd was murdered by the four officers”. He added, “I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level, being black in America should not be a death sentence”
George Floyd worked as a security guard at restaurant/club according to Chief Arradondo Mr. Floyd died after a “Medical incident in a police interaction”. It has since been discovered the Chauvin and Floyd worked security together at the same restaurant. The two men were not strangers. Floyd’s girl friend was white.
Black Detroit Police Chief James Craig said, The “Officer who killed George Floyd should be arrested for murder”.
Democratic Chairman, Tom Perez, said, “We will not heal as a nation through silence — but through justice, through progress, through activism and action. George Floyd is the name we’re chanting today. Yesterday it was Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Before that it was Botham Jean, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald. We will keep saying their names. We will keep honoring their lives. And we will keep seeking justice for their families — and the families of those whose tragedies weren’t captured on video — by fighting to end police brutality and the institutional racism that pervades every aspect of our society. So long as Black men and women cannot breathe, we cannot rest.”
The Legends of Inside Sports Uncut Face Book Live. Date: Saturday May 30, 2020 Time: 9 pmTopic: When is murder-MURDER?
SPECIAL GUEST: TOP COPS AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE ATLANTA NAACP:
ANDREW JOHNSON– is a 34 year veteran of law Enforcement. He Started out as a DC foot patrolman in the Cardozo/Shaw community in 1965. In 1967 hejoined the Homicide squad as a lead detective. In 1975 he joined the DEA and retired as a Supervisor. REAMER SHEDRICK– is a native Washingtonian, and a graduate of Eastern Senior High School, class of ’66. He Served two years in the Army from 1966-1968. Reamer joined the MPDC in 1970. He served in many capacities i.e; First District Patrol Officer, Narcotics Investigator, Stolen Auto Squad Investigator, Fugitive Detective G2, Intelligence Division Detective, Mayor Security Detail (Mayor Marion Berry). Retired from MPDC 1n 1999.
Re-joined MPDC in 2000 in the Senior Officers Program, assigned as a Background Investigator in Recruiting Division until 2011. In 2012, he worked at the National Court in the Security Force until 2014.
RICHARD ROSE, is the president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP. He is an Atlanta businessman and long-time civil rights activist. He is a practicing certified public accountant and a native of Memphis, TN, it was there he started his civil rights activism. He is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where he lettered in track and was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He has served as president of the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP since 2015, the latest in his record of service to his community.
THE BEAT GOES ON AND ON!
Central park woman calls cops on black man while walking in the park black
Detroit Bank teller calls cops on a black man while banking black.
THIS 2020 MEMORIAL DAY IS IN MEMORY OF MY VIET NAM VET BROTHER SGT. EARL ‘BULL’ BELL.
50+ YEARS LATER CORRUPT COPS & RACISM STILL ON TOP BURNER. THE LATEST GEORGE FLOYD.
He was a Military Cop (MP) in Mannheim, Germany, starting fullback on the base football team, Heavyweight Boxing Champion, table Tennis Champion and a softball umpire. He led black military soldiers on downtown nightclubs that had policies of “No Blacks allowed”! He confronted U. S. Army MPs who were there to enforce the racist policies of the clubs. His actions did not sit well with U. S. Army brass. He was all set to sign for another tour, but decided to separate from a racist Army and return home to DC.
Bull Bell the Champion
Some how Jet Magazine got hold of our stories, Earl confronting racism in Germany and his big brother making out with a racist President at the White House. The beat went on. Earl applied for the DC Police Department and discovered racism was just not confined to Germany. He passed the physical and scored high on the written exam, but he received a letter from black Assistant Chief Maurice Turner a home town boy, the letter said, he was ineligible because of his previous juvenile record.
The Bells, Bull, Mommy B, HB and older brother Bobby (not seen my younger brother William aka, Billy, Puddin, and Tyrik)
I knew there was a law on the books saying, “An adult’s juvenile record cannot be held against him in applying for a job in the DC Government. I turned the letter over to my friend Washington Post columnist, Bill Raspbery. Bill contacted Chief Jerry Wilson and Wilson directed Turner to write Earl a letter of apology saying it was all a mistake.
DC first black Police Chief Burtell Jefferson welcomes Earl to the rank and file. Burtell was all in on Community and Police Relations. He was a frequent supporter of my community endeavors.
During a tour of duty as Sgt. in-charge of the cell block a weekend home for prisoners being held until they could see a judge for a trial date or bond hearing. It was here Sgt. Bell encountered two police officers, one black and one white physically abusing black prisoners only on the weekends. He confronted the two officers and made it clear they would cease the abuse on his watch. The two officers ignored his warning and continued their cowardly acts. He asked me for my advice and I advised him to turn them into the black officials we knew from ‘The Hood’, Marty Tapscott, Maurice Turner, and Issac Fullwood. They all ran for cover and became the ‘Three Little Monkeys, they saw no evil, heard no evil and therefore spoke no evil.
TOP COPS: Tillman O’Byrant and Burtell had retired when Bull was confronted with the THIN BLUE LINE and CODE OF SILENCE!
Bull Bell took his case to the U. S. Attorney’s office and the two cops were indicted. Enter, The Thin Blue Line and Code of Silence and the end of a career of a “Good Cop”! Chief Maurice Turner warned Bull “Watch Your Back”??? Assistant Chief the late Isacc Fullwood, lied to me and said, ‘I got his back’! Three months later Fullwood took Bull off the streets and assigned him to the Police and Fire Clinic without explanation. Sgt. Earl K. Bell driving to the clinic for his new assignment crossing the road on Southern Ave and Suitland Parkway the road had iced over and Sgt. Bell’s car skidded into a 16 wheeler coming from the opposite side of the street. Sgt. Bell survived but he would be paralized for life. The S. E. Community Hospital was overrun with cops, many were there hoping for his recovery and others were hoping he would die. He would die a decade later in a nursing home. On this Memorial Day 2020 I salute my brother for being counted among the living when it counted.
The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony is supposed take place on Sunday July 26 2020 in Cooperstown, New York depending on Pandemic coronavirus. If all goes well once again, Buck O’Neil, Curt Flood, and Maury Wills will be nowhere to be found during the induction ceremonies. Their being overlooked won’t be because of steroids.
Major League Baseball should be ashame of itself for omitting Buck O’Neil from the hall of fame in 2006 when it was obvious he belonged. Buck was an outstanding player in the Negroe League with the Kansas City Monarchs. After his playing days he becames a scout for MLB and later became the first black coach. I met and interviewed Buck in Northern Virginia in the 80s while he was playing the role he loved, acting as an Ambassador for a barnstorming black team. He was an officer and gentleman. He made you feel like you had been his long lost friend. I am stll looking for that interview in 2020????
I met Curt when the Washington Senators defied the baseball Gods/owners and signed him. I encountered him having lunch in Frank’s Restaurant on Florida Avenue NW on a rainy day in 1971. I introduced myself and he treated me to lunch. The next week he was gone. We would not meet again until San Francisco somewhere in the 80s. Former DC weekend sports anchor Martin Wyatt was working as a sports anchor at KGO TV in the Golden City. He was hosting a tribute to Legends of the Game. He invited me and Hattie to the tribute. Curt Flood, Jim Brown, Al Attles were among the legends being honored.
THE GREAT CURT FLOOD AND THE EQUALLY GREAT TED WILLIAMS
CURT, HATTIE T AND AL ATTLES HANGING OUT TOGETHER IN SAN FRANCISCO
Curt is the author of the most heroic individual acts of resistance in modern Major League Baseball history, will be excluded. This year’s inductees — Harold Baines, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Lee Smith — are incredibly worthy. But none of them has Flood’s revolutionary résumé, although each benefited from Flood’s act of defiance. After the 2000 season, for example, Mussina used free agency to leave the Baltimore Orioles and sign a six-year, $88.5 million contract with the New York Yankees. None of July’s inductees sacrificed as much so that future generations of major leaguers could reap the rewards. Curt has been a thorn on a rose that still sticks in the side of Major League Baseball. While most players were too cowardly to support Flood, Jackie Robinson showed up in court and openly embraced him. Thanks to Robinson, baseball has become a global game. Flood, to this day, is seen by some as antithetical to the big business interests of baseball — of all sports. He was a star player who pushed back against the restrictive status quo. His absence from the MLB Hall of Fame is further proof an “Even Playing and Forty-Acres & Mule” proves we are the only ones who are playing fair.
Maury ‘Sonny’ Wills is a native Washingtonian and one DC’s great all-around athletes while attending Cardozo High School. He also excelled as a running back and kick-off returner and guard on the basketball team. He was signed after a baseball tryout at Griffin Stadium in the early 50s and his road to Major Leaugue was not the Yellow Brick Road. I was up close and personal and watched his struggles and never give up attitude. During the off season he would come back to our old neighborhood a housing project called Parkside. He would stay in shape by playing football with the Stonewalls a legendary DC amateur football team. His brother Donald aka Duck and I were high school teammates at Spingarn High School. Our football coach Dave Brown would bring the Stonewalls into scrimmage us–it was a controled scrimmage, but it was really Boys vs Men. Sonny would line-up at QB, RB and DB just to remind us he still had it and he did. I ran what I thought was my best pass pattern-Down and Out against him. He picked the ball off and ran it back all the way. He never let Duck and me forget it. He later told me I would have to become a better actor if I was going to be any good as a pass catcher. I had no clue what he was trying to tell me until I got to college.
DC’S MAURY WILLS REVOLUCTIONIZE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WITH THE STOLEN BASE
MAURY WILLS FOUL OUT AS MANAGER OF THE SEATTLE MARINERS
He was finally called up to Major League Baseball by the LA Dodgers IN 1959. Sonny got off to a slow start in the 1959 World Series, in six games he went 5-20 and stole one base. 1960 was his first full season, he hit .295 and led the league in stolen bases with 50 making him the first National League player to steal 50 bases since Max Carey’s 51 in 1923. The best was yet to come, in 1962 he stole 104 bases to set a new MLB stolen base record, breaking the old modersn era mark of 96 set by Ty Cobb in 1915. He revolutionize MLB with the stolen base it was a bigger threat than the homerun. He stole more bases than all the other teams that year, the highest total being his hometown Washington Senators who had 99.
His success as a base stealer that year led to another remarkable stat, he was caught stealing just 13 times all season. He hit .299 for the season , led the NL with 10 triples and 179 singles, and was named the NL MVP over Willie Mays. Willie had a year that was nothing to sneeze at, he hit .304 with 49 hr and 141 rbi. Sonny and the stolen base had become such a threat in that 1962 season, San Francisco Giants manager Alvin Dark ordered ground crews to water down the the base paths hoping the muddy field would slow him down. He played a full162 game schedule, plus all of the best of three regular season play-off series with the Giants, giving him a total of 165 games played, a MLB record that still stands today for most games played in a single season.
Maury Wills’ 104 steals remained a Major League record for switch-hitters until 1985 when Vince Coleman eclipsed the mark with 110. Vince is the major league player who once told a group of reporters, he was not aware of Jackie Robinson knocking down any doors for him! Maury Wills was a true super star and a sure fire first ballot hall of famer, but his singing in the shower with vocalist Doris Day has cost him induction into the hall of fame.
It is nothing new for the Hall of Fame to hold these last rites of passage and omitt black athletes who speak out about the racism and politics that govern these institutions. There are Black Hall of Fames that follow their lead.
The NBA shunned the great basketball Coach Johnny McLendon before they finally inducted him in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a “CONTRIBUTOR” which he and many others including Dean Smith felt was a slap in the face. For example; Adolph Rupp of Kentucky was voted in as a “COACH”. Dean Smith who followed Johnny Mack was voted in as a “COACH” what made their contributions any significant than his? The “4 Corners Offense” was the brainchild of Coach McLendon, not Dean Smith.
Earl Lloyd was the first black to play in the NBA. He helped the Syracuse Nationals win a NBA championship and was the first black assistant coach and could have been the first black head coach, but the Detroit Pistons were not ready to lead the way. Red Auerbach stepped to the front of the line and named Bill Russell. The NBA ignored Earl’s contributions until I convinced Red Auerbach to join me in a campaign to get him elected in 2003. He went in the backdoor as a “CONTRIBUTOR”? Al Attles played in the NBA for 11 years and won an NBA Championship when he swept the Baltimore Bullets in 4 games in 1975. He was recently inducted as a “CONTRIBUTOR”??? Black coaches and players are made to feel like second class citizens when they are finally recognized! The Hall made super-star and pioneer Spencer Haywood who literally knocked down the doors alone forcing the merger of the NBA and ABA completely changing the salary structure. He had to wait close to 35 years for his induction because of his drug use. NBA Commissioner David Stern made him do “Community Service” that satisfied him before he could be inducted. Spencer was Community Service long before dozens of NBA players. The reason he was kept waiting was because of his drug use–hypocrites! The NBA Hall of Fame is overrun with drug abusers. The hall would be almost empty if that was the cretia for induction.
NFL greats, Roy Jefferson NFL Hall of Fame worthy, NFL Hall of Fame inductee Willie Wood (1989) and pioneer Johnny Sample is in the same waiting line as Buck, Curt and Maury.
Johnny Sample was an All-American RB at Maryland State Eastern Shore. He was the first player ever selected from a HBCU to play in the college All-Star Game against the NFL Champions. In his rookie season, he won an NFL championship ring with the Colts in their victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship Game. A game now known as “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. In between, Sample won another championship in the 1959 NFL Championship Game, scoring a touchdown on a 42-yard interception return in the Colts 31-16 victory over the Giants.
He was the co-captain of the AFL New York Jets with QB Joe Namath when they pulled off the biggest upset in pro football history. The Jets were 18 point underdogs when they beat the Baltimore Colts 17-6 in Super Bowl III in 1969. Johnny is the only player in pro football history to win World Championships in two different leagues. After his playing career ended in 1970 he released a very outspoken autobiography, Confessions of a Dirty Ballplayer. In 1977, he was inducted into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawk Hall of Fame.
Noteworthy:The problem that Buck, Curt, and Johnny all face, there is no one in sports media with the balls to stand up and call these plantation type organizations out for the racist cowards that they are. They hide behind anonymity. Have we forgotten that is how the KKK hide behind their mask for decades riding in the dark of night burning homes and lynching Black Americans? If there are any Blacks associated with this group of cowards, they need to be tarred and feathered. How can a brother whose only vehicle was AM Radio, the weakness signal on the radio dial, campaign successfully for two pro athletes to be inducted into their hall of fames (Willie Wood & Earl Lloyd)? I will never forget when Willie Wood died I called several media personalities to see if they were going to write anything on the death of my friend. I was able to get only two of the five I called on the phone–the Atlantic’s Dave Aldridge (Dave wrote a story and attended the funeral) and USA Today’s Jarrett Bell. I have been knowing Jarrett since he first took the job as a writer for the paper. First, I asked if he was aware that Willie had died and his response was “Yes I am aware”. Remember this is a brother that I watched go from a writer to the title ‘NFL Editor for USA Today’. My next question, “Are you writing anything on his passing”? He said, ‘Man I am getting ready to go on vacation, I don’t have the time’! I could not believe my ears to what I was hearing what this brother was saying to me. People of color get very little credit for living in America and too many times there is no mention that they passed this way. If you know where Willie came from and how he got to where he arrived, you know this was not music to my ears. Jarrett Bell is not a rare bird in sports media he has become the NEW normal. Check me out FACE BOOK LIVE on Friday at 9 pm to continue this discussion.
IN JANUARY 1973 DON SHULA WAS ON TOP OF THE NFL WORLD. HE RECORDED THE FIRST EVER PERFECT SEASON IN NFL HISTORY DEFEATING THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS IN SUPER BOWL VII 14-7.
Don Shula, who won more games than any head coach in National Football League history, led the Miami Dolphins to the league’s only perfect season and helped usher pro football into its modern era, died on Monday in Florida. He was 90.
In his 33 years as a head coach, seven with the Baltimore Colts (1963-69) and 26 with the Dolphins (1970-95), his teams won 328 regular-season games — still an N.F.L. record — lost 156 and tied 6. He still holds the N.F.L. records for games coached (526) and total victories (347 — 23 more than the legendary George Halas of the Chicago Bears). His teams won 10 or more games in a season 21 times and reached the playoffs 19 times. He was coach of the year three times with the Colts.
He built fearsome defenses and explosive offenses in taking his teams, the Baltimore Colts and the Dolphins, to six Super Bowls. He won two with the Dolphins, crowning the 1972 and 1973 seasons. Ironically, he lost back to back Super Bowla before winning back to back Super Bowls in 72 and 73.
Many folks have forgotten it was Shula who lost to Joe Namath and the New York Jets in Super Bowl III — one of the biggest upsets in professional sports — just three years earlier, when Shula coached the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The game, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, gave the A.F.L. the legitimacy it craved while saddling Shula with the label of a coach unable to win on the biggest stage. It also signaled the victory of a flashier kind of football, led by an irrepressible Broadway Joe, over Shula’s blue-collar brand. Shula definitely needed a win badly.
The 1972 Super Bowl was especially painful for me. The Dolphins won all 14 regular-season games despite losing their star quarterback, Bob Griese, to an injury in the fifth game. They had the top-ranked offense and defense, they went on to win the three playoff games and capture Super Bowl VII, an unmatched string of victories, but Shula’s win 1n 1972 he had an assist from a woman who is never mention in that 14-7 defeat of the Washington Redskins, her name was “Lady Luck”!
After the riots in 1968 I found my non-profit organization Kids In Trouble, Inc. In 1969 Redskin famed lawyer and owner Edward Bennett Williams would lure a man whom many called the NFL’s greatest coach out of retirement, Vince Lombardi. It is said that when Lombardi left Green Bay for Washington, “One town wept and the other cheered.” Lombardi had won the first two Super Bowls and then retired. While watching the third Super Bowl from the sidelines he got the itch for one more season. After 9 seasons in Green Bay (called the Siberia of the NFL by players) Coach Lombardi wanted more, but this time he wanted to coach in the most powerful city in America–Washington, DC. Edward Bennett Williams made him an offered he could not refuse. The contract contained everything but a seat in the oval office of the White House. Lombardi would be the head coach, GM and Vice-President of the team answering only to Edward Bennett Williams.
Following Lombardi would an unknown running back out of Kansas, Larry Brown. Larry got off to a bad start and almost got cut. During training camp Coach Lombardi notice Larry was always a count behind the QB getting off the ball. He asked the team doctor to examine his hearing and there was the problem, his hearing was bad in one of his ears. Lombardi next move was to lure legendary LB Sam Huff out of retirement. He did and the Redskins went 7-5-2, their best won and lost record since 1955.
It looked like all NFL roads were leading to the Super Bowl, but the 1969 season would be Coach Lombardi’s last NFL season. He was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, he died in Georgetown Hospital on September 4, 1970. There were tears in Green Bay, Washington, DC and NFL cities around the country. Former Green Bay Packer and DC native the late Willie Wood said, “I was looking forward to being a coach on Vince’s staff one day”.
NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood was Vince Lombardie’s coach on the field during his nine year career in Green Bay.
In 1969 my childhood friend and my Spingarn high school teammate introduced me to Larry Brown. We became friends and he introduced me to a brother who was a friend to everyone he met, the late great LB Harold McLinton, DB Ted Vactor was a teammate of mine with the Virginia Sailors a minor league team for the Redskins. All three would join me in my community endeavors with Kids In Trouble.
Enter, Coach George Allen from the L. A. Rams. He brought with him “The Over the Hill Gang”, they consisted of linebackers, Jack Pardee, Myron Pottios, Maxie Baughan, defensive tackle Diron Talbert, guard John Wilbur and special teams player Jeff Jordan. The 1970 team went 9-4-1, the most wins by a Redskin team since 1942. Allen’s next move was to trade for multi-talented WR-the Baltimore Colts’, Roy Jefferson.
Dave Bing, Willie Wood, Larry Brown, Harold McLinton, Ted Vactor and Roy Jefferson would be the “ORIGINAL” Kids In Trouble Santa’s Helpers. When I found Bolling Boys Base on Bolling Air Force Base in 1971 they would join DC Superior Court Judges, Luke Moore, Eugene Hamilton, Harry T. Alexander and Chief Judge Harold Greene to cut the ribbon for the first ever half-way house on a military installation to house juvenile deliquents.
The NFL’s hardest runner and over worked player in 1972 MVP Larry Brown
Fatty Taylor, Larry Brown, and Petey Greene hanging out during Kids In Trouble Hillcrest Saturday Program Community Day.
The 1972 NFL season was sweet for Kids In Trouble because the Redskins players became regular visitors to the half-way house and the KIT Saturday Program located at 13th & W Streets NW in the heart of the inner-city. Larry, Harold, Roy and Ted provided on field tickets for the youth for the regular season and play-off games leading to the Super Bowl. We were seated in the end zone when the Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys 26-3 to earn the rights to play the Miami Dolphins in the Super Bowl. It was those great times with the players a lot of inner-city boys became men.
Redskin Linebackers Harold McLinton and Dave Robinson hold court keeping it real during annual Kids In Trouble Christmas toy party
NFL films video tape Larry and Harold teaching water safety to inner-city kids at Hillcrest Children’s Center Saturday Program.
The trip to LA for Super Bowl VII against Miami was bitter-sweet because the best QB Sonny Jurgensen was injuried. George Allen’s favorite QB Billy Kilmer was slated to start, but the Redskins to a man thought they could still win with Billy. Miami had the No. 1 offense and defense in the league on paper, but the game was still played on the field and not on paper. The Redskins were no slouchs on offense or defense, Larry Brown was the NFL MVP, Charlie Taylor, Roy Jeffereson and Jerry Smith were the best pass catching trio in the NFL, but the question was could Billy get the ball to them?
The defense held their own holding the high powered Dolphin offense of running backs, Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris and wide receiver the great Paul Warfield to 14 points. The Dolphins keyed their defense on Larry Brown hopping the scattered arm of Billy Kilmer would be out of service. They were right, the Dolphin defensive backs were like traffic cops directing the way to the end zone, but Billy could not get the ball to Charlie, Roy or Jerry who could be seen waving their hands and arms frantically for the ball.
Congratulations to Coach Don Shula a football life well lived RIP, but 14 points would have never have beaten Sonny Jurgensen. Luck can be a Lady!
On the road again Washington, DC’s Finest: Sylvia Williams-Gene Stevens-HB-Petey Greene-Judy Greene-Hattie T and a man of mystery as we prepare to go into L. A. Memorial Stadium for the history making showdown between the Washington Redskins and the Miami Dolphins. When we arrived back home I discovered our homeboy Marvin Gaye was sitting several rows behind us–loyal to his Redskins.
Judges Luke C. Moore and Harry T. Alexander were real life Super Stars in the Game Called Life and in the criminal justice system. They were risk takers and applied their trade in the DC Superior Court in the District of Columbia. Luke died November 1995 in Atlanta, Georgia he was 70 years old. He died like he lived–helping others. He was raking leaves for a next door neighbor when he had a heart attack. On July 8, 2010 Judge Alexander died in his adopted hometown of Washington, DC. He was 85 years old. They both left vacancies that have yet to be filled. “Here comes the judges” was a familiar cry in my community programs in the Nation’s Capitol.
My work with at-risk children made me a frequent visitor to the DC Superior Court and they were frequents visitors to my community programs. They were led by pioneering Judge Luke Moore, his side-kicks were Chief Judge Harold Greene, Harry T. Alexander and Ted Newman (DC Federal Court). DC Court Judges like, Eugene Hamilton, Henry Kennedy, Jr., Paul Webber and Alex Williams (Md. Federal Court) and William Missouri (Upper Marlboro Court) would join the KIT team after Luke had blazed the trail.
In the 70s and 80s they presided over courtrooms where integrity, and honesty were in high demand. It was there Black residents and minorities were made to feel that there was such a thing as a fair shake and justice for all. Racist and bully cops and attorneys were not welcome in their courtrooms. Judge Alexander had a short fuse for disrespect in his courtroom, he dismissed cops and attorneys from his courtroom who refuse to address defendants as Mr and Mrs.
My programs Kids In Trouble, Inc. and Inside Sports were closely associated with professional athletes (NFL, NBA & MLB) and rightfully so, but the DC Superior Court was the backbone of KIT.
NBA Hall of Fame player, native Washingtonian and former Mayor of Detroit Dave Bing and NFL Hall of Fame player Willie Wood were the anchors of the Kids In Trouble team when I found it after the 1968 riots.Washington Times sports columnist Dick Heller receives KIT Life Time Achievement Award from Willie Wood.
1967 was when all hell broke loose on a Friday evening at my alma mater Spingarn High School in NE DC. A Spingarn student had been shot after a basketball game between Spingarn and rival McKinley Tech. My boss Stan Anderson immediately assigned me to find a way to bring peace to what could become a volatile situation.
Dave’s first KIT assignment came during his NBA Rookie Year. He had been selected to play in the 1967 NBA All-Star Game in Baltimore at the Civic Center. It was also my first year as a Roving Leader for the DC Recreation Department (Youth Gang Task Force).
I arrived on the scene to find cops and students in a world of confusion–neither seem to have a clue except, Spingarn won the game and they think a McKinley Tech student shot the Spingarn student for celebrating. There were a couple of knuckle heads standing around on the fringes talking about revenge.
None of it made any sense to me so I decided to leave it up to the cops to solve. I retired to Sporty’s Carry Out across the street from the school for a hot dog and soda. I was waiting for my hot dog when I hear someone say “You know the NBA All-Star Game is in Baltimore this Weekend”!
Suddenly, lights, bells and whistles started to go off in my head and I said to myself I thought, “Oh hell no, Dave Bing”. And the guy said, “Oh yes, he is playing”.
The next morning I was on my way to Baltimore to catch up with Dave. On arrival I found the Civil Center players’ entance. One hour later I spotted Dave arriving with teammate Bob Lanier. He saw me and this big smile came across his face and his first words were, “Harold Bell what the hell are you doing over here?” He introduced me to Bob and we huddled outside. I explained what had happen at Spingarn and I needed him to meet me at the school on Monday morning to address the students–done deal.
I kept my fingers crossed hoping there would be no drive-by shooting over the weekend between the two schools, I got my wish. Dave and I met at Spingarn on Monday morning to a full assembly waiting for his arrival. When he walked into the assembly hall, the students gave him a standing ovation. They had just seen him on national television representing them and the school. His words of wisdom brought peace to the school on The Hill. I was proud of Dave, it was a moment never to be forgotten.
Pro athletes and sitting judges working together to empower the community was unheard in the 70s and 80s. The NBA, NFL and MLB would all follow my lead.
The “KIT Dream Team” was made up of pro atletes and DC Superior Court Judges who help give hundreds of at-risk children an opportunity to grow up to be healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Make no mistake Luke and Harry T set the bar when it came to making sure attorneys and police officers respected everyone in his courtroom. All defendants were to be addressed as Mr, Mrs , Ms, or Miss. It did not matter your station in life!
H. R. Crawford was a friend and former Assistant Secretary of Housing at HUD and long time DC City Councilman. He recalls a case being thrown out of Harry T’s court.
He says, “The arresting police officer kept referring to the black defendants as boys and girls. He refused to address the defendants as Mr, Mrs, Ms or Miss as instructed. Judge Alexander dismissed the case because of mistaken identity. He told the police officer, I don’t see any girls or boys in my courtroom.”
Judges Moore and Newman followed Judge Alexander’s lead but without the flamboyance or fanfare. Judge Alexander had an air about him that the insecure found difficult to deal with. He dressed and walked with a swagger, his head up and back un-bended.
One of the most impressive things to me about the judges was that when they gave you their word you could carry it to the bank.
Judges Moore, Alexander and Newman’s community involvement attracted other judges and media personalities to the KIT team.
For example; U. S. Federal Court Judge Alex Williams is another benefactor of Inside Sports and Kids In Trouble, Inc. I attended school and grew up with Judge William Missouri the Chief Administrate Judge of the Upper Marlboro Courthouse.
The two have served as panelist for several of my conferences on youth Violence. Judge Williams was a recipient of Kids In Trouble Life Time Achievement Award. Williams’ mentor was Judge Moore and Missouri worked at the U. S. Post office with him but the similarities end there.
Today a Black man or woman who has to face a judge in Prince George’s County or in the DC Superior Court has the deck stacked against them. Every deck has a joker in a Black Robe–it was Missouri in Prince Georges County, he was known as “The Hanging Judge”.
Black faces may be out front in the Upper Marlboro Court but there is a smell of the KKK aka “Tea Party” is still running things.
How can we forget that the person or persons who murdered 19 year old Ronnie White in his Upper Marlboro jail cell may still be working as a law enforcement officers.
The lynching happen on County Executive Jack Johnson, State Attorney’s Glen Ivey, and Chief of Police Melvin High’s watch. The conspirator a jailer was sentence in Judge Alex Williams Federal courtroom. The Federal Court Guildlines stated, the jailer could be sentenced to 20 years in jail and a $250.000 fine. Judge Williams said, “That there was something that didn’t smell right about the case”. Evidently, the smell was not strong enough, the jailer was free after a year served. All the players in-charge were black–it was not a time to be black and proud!
The Prince George’s County Police Chief Melvin High retired during the murder investigation and re-surfaced in the Prince Georges’ County Sheriff’s Office. Glenn Ivey was the worst State’s Atorney in the history of the office and County Executive Jack Johnson was convicted of taking brides and spent 5 years in jail.
County Executive Angela Alsobrooks claims Johnson and Ivey are her mentors!
One of the reasons Justice has become Just-Us in America’s courtrooms is because the Black jurist sitting on the bench have all forgotten who they are and where they came from. They are so busy trying to play fair but fail to realize they are the only ones playing fair. In the meantime, they help America fill prisons and the U. S. leads the WORLD with the highest rate of incarceration! Prisons are now on Wall Street and the hot commodity is a person of color.
Today’s judges have forgotten the sacrifices and great works of Judges Thurgood Marshall, Carl Moutrie, Turk Thompson, Luke C. Moore, Harry T. Alexander, each man stood for something and didn’t fall for just anything.
This is a sad commentary, but Black Judges like Alex Williams, and the late Bill Missouri, and every black judge who sit on the bench whether at the DC Superior and Prince Georges County Courts, all stand on the shoulders of Judges Luke C. Moore Harry T. Alexander–they were for Justice for all and not Just-Us.