Analyzing Reactions to “The Decision.”

I have been absolutely fascinated by the reaction to Lebron’s “Decision” … and how a month later people are still up in arms about it.  Every time I think the issue has been put to bed it comes back like a bill collector.  Last week, Charles Barkley noted that he wanted to make sure Lebron put him on the list of people taking shots at Lebron since “The Decision”, or the LeBacle or one of the other names the now infamous show goes by.

I’ve included the beginning of an article written by Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus the day after “The Decision”.  I think he makes some good points and shares a point of view similar to mine.

“LeBron James is currently the least popular-or at least most loathed-player in the NBA, and I suspect it would be difficult to explain this to someone like my grandmother who knows little about basketball.

A superstar player decided to take less money and sacrifice individual glory to try to win championships, but it’s not OK because he’s not having to work hard enough to win them, so they don’t count as much.

To announce his decision, he created a special TV program that wound up generating millions of dollars he donated to the Boys & Girls Club, but he’s a bad person because it was egotistical.

Campus Life

Tuskegee now hosts NROTC program on campus

Seventeen Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) midshipmen are working toward their undergraduate degrees and commissions in the Navy and Marine Corps at the newest NROTC host school — Tuskegee University.

The Tuskegee NROTC unit was approved in the summer of 2009 and immediately began to enroll students and establish a unit presence on the campus.

“We are looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Tuskegee University,” said Rear Adm. Clifford S. Sharpe, commander, Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), Naval Station Great Lakes, Ill., who directly oversees the NROTC program.


African American WACs Served In a Unique Battalion

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was unique in the annals of World War II history. It was the only all-African American, all-female unit to serve overseas. A Women’s Army Corps (WAC) unit, the 6888th kept mail flowing to nearly seven million soldiers in the European Theater of Operations.

The women of the 6888th Battalion survived two anxious brushes with the German military during World War II. First, German U-boats forced the unit’s convoy to reroute during its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Then, upon arriving in England a V1 rocket, known as a Buzz Bomb, came roaring into the area.

“Everyone was running,” recalled Mrs. Mary Ragland, a veteran of the unit, about the Buzz Bomb attack in February 1945, where the snow-saturated ground made running difficult. Alyce Dixon remembered, “I was little and I could get down.” No one was hurt in the attack, but the rocket got their attention: “I was always ready to run,” said Ragland. The U-boats had a similar effect: “Darn tootin’ I was scared!” admitted Ragland. The worst part was being in the middle of a vast ocean: “You can’t see land anywhere.”


Today in Black History (October 1st)

Donny Hathaway was born October 1, 1946.
He was born in Chicago, but grew up in St. Louis and began singing gospel at age three.


Today in Black History (September 23rd)

Jazz Saxophone player John Coltrane was born September 23, 1926.
Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, and grew up in High Point. He began playing the clarinet in a community band at the age of 13 and switched to the alto saxophone during his final year of high school. In 1945 he was drafted into the United States Navy, eventually serving most of his two-year term with a Navy band stationed in Hawaii. In 1947 he switched to the tenor saxophone and toured with alto saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson.

He joined the group of trumpeter Miles Davis in 1955, beginning an important phase of his career; during the periods he spent with Davis, Coltrane gained an international reputation as a tenor saxophonist. His high notes had an intense, emotional quality, and his melodies were extremely ornate and usually played without vibrato. After leaving Davis’s quintet, Coltrane formed his own quartet and began playing both the soprano and the tenor saxophone.

During the early 1960s, Coltrane and drummer Elvin Jones developed a highly energetic and interactive way of playing jazz, while improvising in one key, he would often introduce notes from another key. Soon he moved into free jazz, a style in which musicians sometimes create very unusual sounds with their instruments. A deeply religious man, Coltrane recorded several albums of his religious compositions, the most famous being A Love Supreme.

In the 1960s, Coltrane won several polls conducted in the United States and in Japan. After his death in 1967, the National Academy of the Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) honored Coltrane’s memory with a Grammy Award and a lifetime achievement award. Coltrane inspired many to play the soprano saxophone, an instrument rarely used in jazz until he began playing it.


Today in Black History (September 16th)

B. B. King was born September 16, 1925.

Riley B. King was born to a poor family of sharecroppers living on the Mississippi Delta, near the town of Itta Bene, Miss. King’s home life was very unstable and as a child he picked cotton to help with the family income. But King’s mother brought him to church regularly, where he was first exposed to gospel music; he even learned some basic guitar skills from his preacher.


Today in Black History (Sept. 15)

On September 15, 1963, four African American schoolgirls were killed in a bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.
Four young black girls arrived at Sunday school, dressed in their usher whites, giggles on their lips, and hair slightly disheveled from gleeful play–ready to learn about Jesus and sing God’s praises at their mamas’ knees. It was Youth Day at the 16th Street Baptist Church, and even in the midst of the racial turmoil that had seized Birmingham, Ala., they were four little girls living the blissful lives of, well, four little girls.

Hate robbed them of their childhood pleasures. A bomb, planted by a Ku Klux Klansman fiercely opposed to integration, ripped through the basement of their church, sending brick and mortar and furniture hurtling. So strong was the blast that it blew out the face of Jesus in the stained-glass window and stopped the clock.

By the time the chaos had settled into an eerie calm, Carole Denise McNair, 11, and Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Rosamond Robertson, all 14, were dead–buried beneath piles of debris. September 15, 1963, would forever be their day–the day that they became martyrs for the civil rights struggle.

Their deaths changed Alabama–and America, for that matter. In 1963, Jim Crow ruled the South; Medgar Evers was assassinated; thousands marched on Washington, D.C.; and racists set so many bombs in Birmingham that the predominantly black section of town was called Dynamite Hill. But these four girls were the proof that the civil rights movement needed to show America that racism was destroying the fabric of the United States. Less than a year after they died, Congress pushed through the long-fought-for Civil Rights Act of 1964.

While everyone remembers Denise, Addie Mae, Cynthia and Carole as the four little girls, no one really knows the stories behind their stories–how the lives of four families and countless friends were torn to shreds. After more than three decades of silence, their stories were heard on HBO. In the documentary 4 Little Girls, director Spike Lee brings to the screen a detailed accounting of the happiness, the sadness, the glory and the pain that were Denise and Addie Mae and Cynthia and Carole.

“African Americans are far too quick to want to forget,” Lee explains about why he chose to make the documentary. “We don’t want to remember. It’s always: `Let’s forget about slavery, Emmett Till, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers. Why you wanna go back and bring that up–dredge up that stuff?’ Consequently, we have a generation of black kids who think this is the way it always was–that we could always live where we wanted, eat where we wanted, have church where we wanted. We need to remember.”

While a graduate film student at New York University in the 1980s, Lee wrote a passionate letter to Denise’s father, Christopher McNair, asking if he could do a movie about his daughter. who had shunned giving any more than tempered, cursory comments about his daughter’s death–partly due to fear of retribution, partly because he was tired of people telling him to “let it alone”–declined.

Years later, Lee pitched his idea to McNair again. This time, the reluctant father said yes. “I realized it was stupid to forget,” McNair says of his change of heart. “I want people to, number one, know who the four little girls were and, number two, understand that it just doesn’t pay and that this could have happened anywhere in the United States. Those girls–my daughter–should not have died.”

The film uses bomb survivors, the children’s families, their friends, witnesses, prosecutors, activists and those who defended segregation to tell the story of the bombing and the circumstances that led to it.

Lee, who has often come under fire for the political stands that he’s taken in his cinematic work, says that he chose to film 4 Little Girls as a documentary because he wanted to tell the story without being accused of compromising the story’s integrity–a move, industry observers say, that could very well increase Lee’s chances of being nominated for an Oscar this year. “I want the audience, especially the parents, to think about what they might have done had their child been taken away from them like that,” Lee says. “I want the audience to come to know and love those four little girls.”


Today in Black History (August 12)

On August 12, 1922, the home of Frederick Douglass in Washington D.C. was dedicated as a national memorial.
For more on the Frederick Douglass house visit