Black men succeed….but we don’t hear about them………

This was a sad story…another celeb suicide this week, though a very minor celeb….but this isn’t really about that.

I was at the high school I’m associated with on Tuesday and saw that there were two hip-looking tall Black guys in the gym working with about 10 little boys….One of the Black guys, about 25, was going through training with the kids, helping them block and react to a block, shoot, etc.  I enjoyed watching because basketball is my game.

The other guy, a little older, was looking at his cell phone.   I introduced myself to the trainer, then watched the kids for a while.  Then I saw the other guy was leaning against the stage and I stood next to him and we introduced ourselves and he told me a bit about this basketball summer camp he’s started.   I’ll call the guy Alonzo.  He also told me he’d just been watching his friend Billy Knight’s six minute suicide video on his cell phone (see link above);  he’d just heard he’d died.  He’d played on some winning team with Billy and Shaq O’Neill’s son, they were all good buddies. He wasn’t in a good mood, that I could tell.

He somehow mentioned how he was from the ‘wrong side of Cleveland’ and how he’d come out here and how much better it was, how thankful he was he had survived a very, very tough childhood.  So I said “So how come you’re not lying on the ground dead with a needle hanging out of your arm?”   He looked at me and said “My dad sold the stuff in that needle.”    well. (leave it to me, right?)

“Do you have any siblings?”   “9 brothers and a sister”  “Your parents ever married?”  “No”…would you have kids unmarried?  “No, I wouldn’t.”

Here this guy is….unmarried parents, 10 siblings (most of whom have at least not died from drugs and don’t seem to be in prison..”just average jobs” is how he described it), growing up with a drug-pushing dad….and now he’s in Los Angeles helping little kids learn to do something fun and wholesome.

How’s THAT HAPPEN when so many choose the wrong way in their lives?

“Are you a Christian?”    “No, I don’t believe in religions….but I believe in the Lord and know it’s Him who got me here.”     Oh, okay!

I hugged this guy, told him he gives me hope……..You just never know about young peoples’ choices, except sometimes you see, like when he told me his first basketball coach in high school was my school’s Head of Athletics now.  And I know Kevin and I know what good he does with young men to this day.   I asked Alonzo if he’d considered writing a book about his life because he said “I’ve had quite a lot of amazing stuff, bad and good..”   He said he had thought about it and that Kevin’s wife, the teacher who founded our English department 14 years ago, wants him to write a book, too.   Ah, I thought, he’s had both of these fine people influence him.   That helps!

Help a kid you think might need it.  Do something to make their life better;  to give them hope.  Like Alonzo’s doing with these basketball-loving 10 year olds.   Instead of having died with a needle sticking out of his arm in the bad side of Cleveland.


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10 Responses to Black men succeed….but we don’t hear about them………

  1. Mustang says:

    I appreciated what Morgan Freeman once said: we will never solve the issue of racism in America until white people stop considering that black people are black, and black people stop thinking of white people as white. I think we were making great strides toward this until the American people, dumb-asses that they are, elected Barack Obama to the presidency … twice.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Kid says:

    First off I believe people are born with their all the attributes they will put on display as they grow but concede the person’s environment will have a strong effect on them and what they will be able to accomplish.

    Just a little information given to a kid can do a lot of good sometimes especially if they ask the questions. I’m not around any kids though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mustang,
    I think we were making great strides toward this until the American people, dumb-asses that they are, elected Barack Obama to the presidency … twice.

    BHO did so much to ruin race relations. Divide and conquer, I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mustang says:

    @ AOW

    Divide and conquer, I suppose.

    Exactly. It’s part of the DNC platform and has been since the bad old days of Woodrow Wilson.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bocopro says:

    Where and when I grew up, racial stereotypes and attitudes were chiseled in stone. I was taught by my elders the most demeaning attribute of every group of people on the planet who differed in any way from our family, our kin, our community:

    Italians were flighty and unpredictable.
    French were snotty and never finished anything they started.
    Germans were joyless automatons who followed orders robotically.
    Spanish were haughty, abrupt, and greedy.
    Irish were drunken troublemakers who liked to fistfight.
    Russians were moody paranoids who saw the downside of everything.
    Mexicans were sneaky and thieving, not to be trusted around valuables.
    Blacks were inherently lazy and had a characteristic body odor.
    Scandinavians were slow-witted, docile, and obedient.
    Japanese were nearsighted, villainous, imitative plunderers.
    Indians (Bombay) were mysterious and mystical freaks of nature.
    Chinese were sinister, clannish, and to be avoided.

    B’lieve it or not, I can remember my Aunt Mary singin’ me little ditties about other ethnic groups. One went like this:

    God made the n—-r
    Made him in the night.
    So when He made that n—-r
    He forgot to make him white.

    Natcherly, one of my first girl friends was a sultry Mexican girl with long wavy black hair and dark skin. Name was Florestellita, and from what I’ve learned over the years, her cranium never stopped calcifying. But I was quite captivated by her, which triggered great consternation from my relatives, and some heated discussions.

    Unsurprisingly, my wife is Asian. And when the Navy made me an officer after 8 years as a whitehat, my mentor was a very large, very wise, very black man named Don B—— who taught me a lotta neat stuff about how to be a division officer of technicians on a ship during wartime. He’d also been enlisted before earning a commission.

    His wife was a total Aunt Jemima type, lovely lady who’d do anything for you and took my wife under her wing just as Don did with me. Their children were standouts in school, one earning a full-ride scholarship to college (Cal State somewhere) and another graduating with a 3.8 GPA which got him into West Point.

    So apparently all those wonderful lessons I learned from my family, my town, my teachers went for naught, ‘cause I went 180 degrees from what they’d tried to make of me.

    My take on race today is that the police in this country are doing a really poor job of eliminating black men, despite rumors to the contrary. Also, many of today’s black “leaders” aren’t doing their community any good a’tall, and neither is much of what passes for entertainment by many blacks, especially rap “music” and kneeling during the national anthem.

    Stubborn and relentless promotion of the “Hands-Up/Don’t-Shoot” myth, coupled with the inimical and insidiously biased leadership of Barack HUSSEIN Soetoro, wiped out decades of improvement in race relations in this country beginning with great strides during and after WWII because of their performance in wartime.

    I was taught to be racist, but too many factors cancelled out those lessons, beginning with youthful rebellion. The best example of ridiculous pigmentation bias I ever saw was by the Star Trek episode “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” in which a race is encountered with skin that is pure white on one side of the body and pure black on the other. The conflict focuses not on the colors themselves but on which side they appear, white on the left being superior to white on the right.

    In another unrelated episode, Spock utters a profound judgment on human proclivity for assessing worth based on external features. He says, “Their physical appearance is immaterial to me. Their values are what matter.”

    Better’n what I was taught as a kid. But who knows . . . regularly fed the concept of racial equality during my formative years, I may have turned out to be another David Duke out of spite.


  6. geeez2014 says:

    Mustang! That is so well said, so wise and SO TRUE. Thanks.

    Kid, and that’s why my friends, the Coach and English teacher, obviously had such an effect on Alonzo. I listen to a kid who knew his dad sold heroin and didn’t fall for all of that ‘life’ and I also think “What’s IN this kid that his father sure didn’t give him….something IN that kid…” Yes, some “attribute”, some inside knowledge, some TRUTH is IN this young man which kept him straight at least now in his mid thirties……..I’d give a lot to have the funds to help his basketball program…for him and for the kids he’s working with.

    AOW and Mustang…people say it started with Ferguson, but it did NOT…it very clearly and horribly started at the front door of Professor Henry Gates, when Obama immediately condemned the COPS…only to find out the whole thing was totally understandable. Then that ridiculous BEER SUMMIT, making it look like the cop had to ‘mea culpa’ over a beer while the Black professor aired his grievances. I wish that cop could have aired his, like “What did you expect? We don’t have a lot of Blacks owning homes like this and we should if they worked to their potential and didn’t buy into the Democrat ‘soft bigotry of low expectations. We thought he was a burglar, as his neighbor across the street did!”
    Yes, divide and conquer……why else did we get incident after incident after incident under Obama’s ‘rule’? I actually do think it was planned. VOTE DEMOCRAT! WE’LL HELP YOU! ptui

    Bocopro…Don B and his wife are folks I’d sure like to have known! Wonderful! I believe Alonzo, my fellow in my piece, also was taught to be racist.
    So, some don’t fall for it…..others do.
    Kid mentioned what you’re born with……..Yes…and it’s a very tricky thing to wrap a brain around let alone understand!


    I just loved this guy………


  7. Mal Telloian says:

    One thing I’ve noticed is although Black people can’t help looking different (skin color, hair, lips) they greatly magnify their differences by how they dress, talk, and act. Any other ethnic group doing that will be noticed and treated differently. When I run across Black professionals in a suit or doctors attire, the physical differences they were born with quickly disappear.


  8. Baysider says:

    Great story. I hope he does write that book — or feature article. Others need hope and encouragement.

    You’re right. Obama’s overt divisiveness started with Gates (maybe, really, with a wife who talked about how “they keep you down” on the campaign trail, and “the first time I’ve been proud of my country” talk when her husband was elected), then Trayvon, etc. He’s a very sharp cookie. It’s hard to not believe he did not pounce on opportunities to sow division and distrust when they appeared.


  9. Mal Telloian says:

    I’m sure he did, Baysider. He was bad, but not stupid, and knew exactly what he was doing and succeeded in doing it.


  10. Jean Worland says:

    I am so touched by your article, Z, and that young boy. May he continue on in his life and find joy, love, grace and wisdom for living a life according to God’s will. Jean


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