The Confederate Flag Didn’t Bother Bubba Wallace. Until It Did.

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2020-06-22 00:05Z by Steven

The Confederate Flag Didn’t Bother Bubba Wallace. Until It Did.

The New York Times
2020-06-19

Juliet Macur


Barry Cantrell

The only black driver in NASCAR’s top tier, he has emerged as an impassioned activist who got the flag banned at races in the largely white sport after years of putting up with it.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., the only black driver in NASCAR’s top racing series, has drawn widespread attention and acclaim for his principled stand that got the Confederate flag banned from races in a largely white sport.

Yet, after years of often quiet acceptance of the sport’s “racist label,” as he put it, nobody was more surprised than his mother that he had become a central figure in the sports world’s upheaval regarding race.

“I was shocked,” his mother, Desiree Wallace, said in a telephone interview. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, is this my son? The one who doesn’t really care about anything but getting in the car and driving?’ I’m tripping that he’s gone from being a racecar driver to becoming a daggone activist. Who does that? Not Bubba.”

Yet a series of events, particularly the killing of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, while he was jogging in a predominantly white neighborhood in Georgia, flipped a switch in Wallace, he and those who know him said…

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Bubba Wallace emerges as NASCAR’s improbable yet ideally suited change agent

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2020-06-13 20:55Z by Steven

Bubba Wallace emerges as NASCAR’s improbable yet ideally suited change agent

The Washington Post
2020-06-13

Liz Clarke, Sports Reporter


“I encourage people to have those tough conversations just to educate yourself,” Bubba Wallace says. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Born in Alabama and reared in North Carolina, Bubba Wallace doesn’t remember seeing a Confederate flag until he went to a racetrack. His memory isn’t tied to a particular track because the flag was a fixture in the grandstands nearly everywhere he competed as a young racer.

But that’s not what transformed Wallace into a change agent in America’s most tradition-bound sport. It was the video of an unarmed black jogger being gunned down in Georgia after he was cornered by a white father and son brandishing a pistol and shotgun.

“The Ahmaud Arbery video was the final straw for me in being silent. That shook me to the core like nothing has in the past,” Wallace, 26, said in a telephone interview Friday. “Something flipped inside of me to be more vocal and stand up for racial equality and make sure we get a hold on that and change the face of this world and get it to a better place. Creating unity and compassion and understanding of each of our brothers and sisters is so powerful. We have to preach that to the ones that don’t want to listen and understand.”…

…The only full-time African American racer in NASCAR’s Cup series, and the first since the late Wendell Scott of Danville, Va., retired in 1973, Wallace is uniquely suited to lead NASCAR into the future its executives say they want: one in which women and minorities feel welcome and fill the grandstands, pit crews and driver ranks in numbers that mirror the diversity of America.

Wallace’s father is white; his mother is black. Both are NASCAR loyalists and fans, in particular, of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. So Bubba, who started racing at age 9, grew up an Earnhardt fan, too…

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Mahomes’ performance leaves no doubt: Black NFL QB’s have arrived

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-05 02:11Z by Steven

Mahomes’ performance leaves no doubt: Black NFL QB’s have arrived

NBC News
2020-02-04

Curtis Bunn


Patrick Mahomes, 24, of the Kansas City Chiefs became the youngest quarterback to be named Super Bowl MVP. Mike Blake / Reuters

“Mahomes’ performance was uplifting and annihilates the narrative that African American quarterbacks are somehow less capable.”

Doug Williams did it first. Russell Wilson came next. And Patrick Mahomes is now the third African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, and his explosive performance on Sunday confirmed, if anyone still questioned, that the era of the black NFL QB is upon us.

With the world watching, Mahomes brought the Kansas City Chiefs back from a 10-point deficit in the final minutes, catapulting the franchise to its first Super Bowl win in 50 years, 31-20, over the shell-shocked San Francisco 49ers.

For the first time in a week, there was an athletic performance impressive enough to distract sports fans from the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

“Mahomes’ performance was uplifting and annihilates the narrative that African American quarterbacks are somehow less capable,” said Clint Crawford, an engineer, after getting a haircut at his favorite barbershop in Los Angeles Monday. “He executed when it counted most and demonstrated the kind of toughness and fiery resolve we came to expect from athletes like Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant.”…

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Patrick Mahomes ushers in Era of the Black Quarterback

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-03 18:56Z by Steven

Patrick Mahomes ushers in Era of the Black Quarterback

The Year of the Black Quarterback
The Undefeated
2020-02-02

Jason Reid

With dramatic Super Bowl win, the Chiefs star punctuates spectacular year

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Year of the Black Quarterback has evolved into the Era of the Black Quarterback, because Patrick Mahomes and his contemporaries are just that good.

On sports’ biggest stage here Sunday night, Mahomes emphatically punctuated the NFL’s 100th season – the one in which African American passers shined brighter than at any time previously in NFL history – leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium. In only his third season and second as a starter, Mahomes added the Super Bowl most valuable player award to the long list of accomplishments in his nascent career. And for a fitting capper to it all, here’s his biggest feat to date: At only 24, Mahomes is the youngest player ever to have both a Super Bowl title and a league MVP award, having been selected the 2018 winner by the Associated Press.

Any scout, coach or player-personnel official worth their salt will tell you there’s no doubt as to who is currently the game’s top player. Mahomes is the face of the NFL and is expected to shatter the mark for the game’s biggest contract soon. Not only does Mahomes, the seventh black signal-caller to direct a team to the Super Bowl and third to win the championship, throw the game’s best deep ball and possess second-to-none improvisational skills, he’s also smart as a whip, tough and a leader beyond his years.

Any scout, coach or player-personnel official worth their salt will tell you there’s no doubt as to who is currently the game’s top player. Mahomes is the face of the NFL and is expected to shatter the mark for the game’s biggest contract soon. Not only does Mahomes, the seventh black signal-caller to direct a team to the Super Bowl and third to win the championship, throw the game’s best deep ball and possess second-to-none improvisational skills, he’s also smart as a whip, tough and a leader beyond his years.

“The best thing about it is you’re showing kids that no matter where you grow up, what race you are, that you can achieve your dream,” Mahomes said during the lead-up to the Super Bowl. “For me, being a black quarterback — having a black dad and a white mom — it just shows that it doesn’t matter where you come from.”…

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Is the Black Quarterback Revolution Going to Last?

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2020-02-02 23:08Z by Steven

Is the Black Quarterback Revolution Going to Last?

The New York Times
2020-02-02

Elena Bergeron

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs is part of a vanguard redefining the position. But it is a watershed only if it is widespread and persistent.

MIAMI — The N.F.L.’s longtime leading men, the ones with the pizza commercials and the Super Bowl rings, whose names adorn the league’s most-sold jerseys, showed their mortality this season in ways that were uncomfortable to watch.

Tom Brady and Drew Brees didn’t make it through the first round of the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers missed the Super Bowl, too, by losing in a later round. Eli Manning retired, usurped as the Giants’ leader after 16 years. Ben Roethlisberger played like he should be considering it, too.

Together they helmed 12 of the last 18 Super Bowl-winning teams. And all are pushing 40 years old or past it.

Yet their aging out of the game leaves no void, as these playoffs have highlighted the rise of quarterbacks whose savvy and daring have stolen our attention. Russell Wilson’s third-down scramble to survive the Philadelphia Eagles, Patrick Mahomes’s bionic touchdown run for the Chiefs against the Tennessee Titans, Deshaun Watson of the Texans’ magical escape from a sack to beat the Buffalo Bills. Everything that Lamar Jackson did…

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In the End, the NFL Proved Colin Kaepernick Right

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2019-12-13 14:58Z by Steven

In the End, the NFL Proved Colin Kaepernick Right

The Atlantic
2019-12-12

Jemele Hill, Staff writer

Colin Kaepernick
Al Bello / Getty

In pronouncing the outspoken quarterback’s career dead, the league underscored its own unwillingness to let players exercise their own power.

When the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, declared yesterday that the league had “moved on” from the embattled quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the finality of Goodell’s tone answered the question about whether Kaepernick would ever play professional football again.

Kaepernick became persona non grata in the National Football League after the 2016 season, during which he protested police violence against African Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. The league then spent more than two years trying to make him go away, but seemed to relent by scheduling a workout for him last month in Atlanta. But that proposed session didn’t happen on the NFL’s terms, and Goodell, in his first public comments about the matter, implied yesterday that Kaepernick had blown his last chance.

“It was a unique opportunity—an incredible opportunity—and he chose not to take it. And we’ve moved on here,” Goodell said at an owners’ meeting in Irving, Texas.

But if Goodell believes that the Atlanta fiasco provided closure to this situation, he’s being horribly naive. The league’s clumsy treatment of Kaepernick only showed what the quarterback’s supporters have been saying all along: The NFL is unwilling to tolerate black athletes’ outrage, outspokenness, and desire to exercise their power—even though all three are entirely justified…

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Raptors GM draws on mixed upbringing in building team’s post-Kawhi Leonard identity

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Media Archive, United States on 2019-11-20 01:29Z by Steven

Raptors GM draws on mixed upbringing in building team’s post-Kawhi Leonard identity

The Washington Post
2019-11-19

Ben Golliver, NBA Reporter


“I don’t think I look super Asian or white,” said Toronto Raptors General Manager Bobby Webster, who became the NBA’s youngest GM when he was appointed in 2017. “Being both was freeing.” (Chris Young/The Canadian Press/Associated Press)

LOS ANGELES — When Bobby Webster took the stage as a guest speaker at the U.S.-Japan Council’s annual conference earlier this month, the moderator introduced him as a world champion and a hapa.

The first label was self-evident: Webster is the Toronto Raptors’ general manager, a low-key strategic planner and salary cap specialist who reports to Masai Ujiri, the organization’s brash, larger-than-life president.

The second term — a Hawaiian phrase that means “part” and refers to people of mixed race — described Webster’s Japanese-American background. Webster’s mother, Jean, descended from Japanese immigrants who came to work in the stables at a Hawaiian sugar plantation around the turn of the 20th century. Webster’s father, Bob, a redheaded Chicago native, moved to Hawaii in his late 20s and never left…

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The untold story of wrestler Andrew Johnson’s dreadlocks

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2019-09-19 02:19Z by Steven

The untold story of wrestler Andrew Johnson’s dreadlocks

The Undefeated
2019-09-18

Jesse Washington

Buena wrestler Andrew Johnson returns to mat after dreadlock haircut incident
Andrew Johnson is pictured during his 120-pound bout at the Williamstown Duals on Jan. 5 in New Jersey, Johnson’s first time back on the wrestling mat since he was forced to cut off his dreadlocks or forfeit his match on Dec. 19, 2018. Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media/Barcroft Media

How the high school athlete endured his infamous haircut

When Andrew Johnson walked into The Line Up barbershop last April, all eyes focused on him. Since that awful day in December when a referee had forced the 16-year-old Buena Regional High School wrestler to either cut his dreadlocks or forfeit his match, he felt as if the world was constantly watching him, especially in his small New Jersey town. Watching and whispering about things beyond his control.

Yo, that’s that kid who got his locs chopped by the white ref.

Andrew, who goes by Drew, sat down in Chris Perez’s chair. Perez has tended Drew’s hair since middle school. After a video of Drew’s shearing attracted a massive social media audience last December, he had reshaped Drew’s hair into shorter dreadlocks that radiated from his head.

But now Drew had a new problem. The night before, he had grabbed a pair of scissors from the kitchen and hacked at what remained of his dreads, then asked his little sister to finish the job. Drew loved his hair but was tired of it causing so much trouble. Tired of being treated differently and made into something he was not. Tired of looking in the mirror and seeing the referee, Alan Maloney, looking back.

Maloney already had a racist incident in his past before telling Drew that his hair was “unnatural” and giving him 90 seconds to cut it. What resulted was far more than a humiliating haircut for one high school student. It became a shared and painful experience for many who see how issues of identity, subjugation, power and freedom are intertwined in African American hair…

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Hachimura, Japan’s mixed-race basketball star who once ‘hid from the world’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive on 2019-09-01 01:18Z by Steven

Hachimura, Japan’s mixed-race basketball star who once ‘hid from the world’

Japan Today
2019-08-26

Natsuko Fukue


Japan’s Rui Hachimura is set to star at the basketball World Cup. Photo: AFP

TOKYORui Hachimura says he gets his height from his Beninese father and his work ethic from his Japanese mother — a combination that has propelled him to basketball stardom.

The 21-year-old made history in June when he became the first Japanese to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft, picked up by the Washington Wizards.

And like tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, Hachimura’s fast-growing fame is raising the profile of biracial sportspeople in a homogeneous country where mixed-race children still face prejudice.

Hachimura, who is 203 cms tall, will lead Japan’s challenge at the basketball World Cup in China, which begins on Saturday. He is also poised to be a poster boy the hosts at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Big pressure for one so young.

As a child Hachimura stood out in Japan — and not just because of his height. “I inherited my body from my father and my diligence from my mother,” he said in a recent interview with the Mainichi Shimbun daily.

He now feels a sense of pride at being biracial but admits to feeling self-conscious about it when he was a child…

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Effa Manley

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-08-16 20:09Z by Steven

Effa Manley

Ebbets Field Flannels
2019

Joe Swide


c. 1938. Wonderful image of Effa in a dress and wearing a Newark Eagles ball cap while being instructed on how to hold a bat by one of her players.

The most powerful woman in baseball

In the summer of 1947, the most powerful woman in baseball received a call from Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck had spent the last five years scouting the Negro Leagues for the right ballplayer to integrate the American League and shortly after the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League had broken baseball’s color line by acquiring Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Veeck set his eyes on Larry Doby of the Newark Eagles. However, whereas the Dodgers managed to acquire Robinson without paying a cent to the Monarchs, Veeck found himself in a very different sort of negotiation with the owner of the Eagles, Effa Manley.

Manley was born into a biracial family in Philadelphia in 1897. Her mother was a white seamstress who was married to a black man but had an affair with her white employer, leading many to believe that he was Manley’s biological father. In any case, Manley was raised in a predominantly black community with a biracial identity like that of her siblings, and her ability to pass as either black or white enabled her to navigate both sides of the country’s racial divide…

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