04-21-2024  6:10 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Don’t Shoot Portland, University of Oregon Team Up for Black Narratives, Memory

The yearly Memory Work for Black Lives Plenary shows the power of preservation.

Grants Pass Anti-Camping Laws Head to Supreme Court

Grants Pass in southern Oregon has become the unlikely face of the nation’s homelessness crisis as its case over anti-camping laws goes to the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled for April 22. The case has broad implications for cities, including whether they can fine or jail people for camping in public. Since 2020, court orders have barred Grants Pass from enforcing its anti-camping laws. Now, the city is asking the justices to review lower court rulings it says has prevented it from addressing the city's homelessness crisis. Rights groups say people shouldn’t be punished for lacking housing.

Four Ballot Measures for Portland Voters to Consider

Proposals from the city, PPS, Metro and Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District.

Washington Gun Store Sold Hundreds of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in 90 Minutes Without Ban

KGW-TV reports Wally Wentz, owner of Gator’s Custom Guns in Kelso, described Monday as “magazine day” at his store. Wentz is behind the court challenge to Washington’s high-capacity magazine ban, with the help of the Silent Majority Foundation in eastern Washington.

NEWS BRIEFS

Governor Kotek Announces Chief of Staff, New Office Leadership

Governor expands executive team and names new Housing and Homelessness Initiative Director ...

Governor Kotek Announces Investment in New CHIPS Child Care Fund

5 Million dollars from Oregon CHIPS Act to be allocated to new Child Care Fund ...

Bank Announces 14th Annual “I Got Bank” Contest for Youth in Celebration of National Financial Literacy Month

The nation’s largest Black-owned bank will choose ten winners and award each a $1,000 savings account ...

Literary Arts Transforms Historic Central Eastside Building Into New Headquarters

The new 14,000-square-foot literary center will serve as a community and cultural hub with a bookstore, café, classroom, and event...

Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Announces New Partnership with the University of Oxford

Tony Bishop initiated the CBCF Alumni Scholarship to empower young Black scholars and dismantle financial barriers ...

Oregon lodge famously featured in 'The Shining' will reopen to guests after fire forced evacuations

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's historic Timberline Lodge, which featured in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining,” will reopen to guests Sunday after a fire that prompted evacuations but caused only minimal damage. The lodge said Saturday in a Facebook post that it...

Record numbers in the US are homeless. Can cities fine them for sleeping in parks and on sidewalks?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most significant case in decades on homelessness has reached the Supreme Court as record numbers of people in America are without a permanent place to live. The justices on Monday will consider a challenge to rulings from a California-based appeals court that...

Two-time world champ J’den Cox retires at US Olympic wrestling trials; 44-year-old reaches finals

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — J’den Cox walked off the mat after dropping a 2-2 decision to Kollin Moore at the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials on Friday night, leaving his shoes behind to a standing ovation. The bronze medal winner at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 was beaten by...

University of Missouri plans 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri is planning a 0 million renovation of Memorial Stadium. The Memorial Stadium Improvements Project, expected to be completed by the 2026 season, will further enclose the north end of the stadium and add a variety of new premium...

OPINION

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...

Loving and Embracing the Differences in Our Youngest Learners

Yet our responsibility to all parents and society at large means we must do more to share insights, especially with underserved and under-resourced communities. ...

Gallup Finds Black Generational Divide on Affirmative Action

Each spring, many aspiring students and their families begin receiving college acceptance letters and offers of financial aid packages. This year’s college decisions will add yet another consideration: the effects of a 2023 Supreme Court, 6-3 ruling that...

OP-ED: Embracing Black Men’s Voices: Rebuilding Trust and Unity in the Democratic Party

The decision of many Black men to disengage from the Democratic Party is rooted in a complex interplay of historical disenchantment, unmet promises, and a sense of disillusionment with the political establishment. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Councilwoman chosen as new Fort Wayne mayor, its 1st Black leader, in caucus to replace late mayor

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A Fort Wayne city councilwoman was chosen Saturday as the new mayor of Indiana’s second most populous city, and its first Black leader, during a caucus to replace its late mayor, who died in March. Councilwoman Sharon Tucker, a Democrat, will also become...

The drug war devastated Black and other minority communities. Is marijuana legalization helping?

ARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — When Washington state opened some of the nation's first legal marijuana stores in 2014, Sam Ward Jr. was on electronic home detention in Spokane, where he had been indicted on federal drug charges. He would soon be off to prison to serve the lion's share of a four-year...

Lawsuits under New York's new voting rights law reveal racial disenfranchisement even in blue states

FREEPORT, N.Y. (AP) — Weihua Yan had seen dramatic demographic changes since moving to Long Island's Nassau County. Its Asian American population alone had grown by 60% since the 2010 census. Why then, he wondered, did he not see anyone who looked like him on the county's local...

ENTERTAINMENT

Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27

Celebrity birthdays for the week of April 21-27: April 21: Actor Elaine May is 92. Singer Iggy Pop is 77. Actor Patti LuPone is 75. Actor Tony Danza is 73. Actor James Morrison (“24”) is 70. Actor Andie MacDowell is 66. Singer Robert Smith of The Cure is 65. Guitarist Michael...

What to stream this weekend: Conan O’Brien travels, 'Migration' soars and Taylor Swift reigns

Zack Snyder’s “Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver” landing on Netflix and Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” album are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you. Also among the streaming offerings worth your time as...

Music Review: Jazz pianist Fred Hersch creates subdued, lovely colors on 'Silent, Listening'

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch fully embraces the freedom that comes with improvisation on his solo album “Silent, Listening,” spontaneously composing and performing tunes that are often without melody, meter or form. Listening to them can be challenging and rewarding. The many-time...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

2 killed and 6 injured in shooting at Memphis park party, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Eight people were shot including two men who were killed at an unsanctioned public party...

Autoworkers union celebrates breakthrough win in Tennessee and takes aim at more plants in the South

DALLAS (AP) — The United Auto Workers' overwhelming election victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee is...

Marijuana grow busted in Maine as feds investigate trend in 20 states

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The high electricity consumption of a home, its cardboard-covered windows and odor of...

Pakistani province issues a flood alert and warns of a heavy loss of life from glacial melting

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani province has issued a flood alert because of glacial melting and warned of...

The US military will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — The United States will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger, U.S. officials said...

Satellite image analyzed by AP shows damage after Iranian attack on Israeli desert air base

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian attack on an Israeli desert air base last week as part of Tehran's...

Texas Western celebrates their victory over all White Kentucky Wildcats in a historic win in 1966
The Black Athlete by Omar Tyree

PHOTO: Texas Western (now UTEP) was the underdog against No. 1 Kentucky, but the Miners won with the first all-black starting lineup in title game history, beating the Wildcats 72-65.-- AP Photo

 

Nearly a decade ago, my wife and I took our two basketball fanatic sons to the local movie theaters to watch a film called Glory Road, about a Texas Western (El Paso) University basketball coach, Don Haskins, who decided not only to recruit African-American student athletes to the school -- during a tough era of American segregation in the 1960s -- but to start them all in the 1966 NCAA Finals against the one and only University of Kentucky Wildcats, who had not yet broken the color barrier with their team.

My oldest son, Ameer, who was already familiar with the popular college basketball programs said, “Wow, dad, so this all Black team is gonna beat an all White Kentucky team.” The concept of an all-Black basketball team as a college underdog to an all-White team was totally alien to my young son. In the year that he was born in 1996, Kentucky won its sixth title under then coach Rick Pitino, with a team full of Black players, including Derek Anderson, Tony Delk, Antoine Walker, Jamaal Magloire, Nazr Mohammed and a very athletic Ron Mercer. That 1996 Kentucky Wildcats team used a full-court press to dismantle the opposition, while sprinting up and down the floor, like a track and field relay team, executing acrobatic dunks and faced-paced lay-ups and jump shots.

However, in 1966 an all Black team in an NCAA Championship Finals was brand new to millions of American spectators. The game created a huge national audience and became another pivotal moment of history, where thousands of African-American teenagers and Civil Rights activists would gain new confidence and hope in opportunities not only in basketball, but in advancement in education, while participating in more competitive college and university sports and academic programs.

The pre-segregation Kentucky Wildcats teams, coached by the legendary Adolf Rupp from 1930-1972, had won four NCAA titles and multiple Southeast Conference Championships by 1966, all without any African-American players on the team until Tom Payne accepted a scholarship offer to attend Kentucky in 1969. Although it has been reported that coach Rupp had actively recruited Kentucky natives, Wes Unseld and Butch Beard as early as 1964, he also made no secrets about how difficult it would be for them to integrate Kentucky’s basketball team and with a populace of racially intolerant students, parents and alumni. So Unseld and Beard took their talents to the in-state Kentucky rival at the University of Louisville Cardinals.

NBA Champion coach Pat Riley, with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, was a member of that losing Kentucky Wildcats team of 1966, and he said the experience made an impact on his life and reminded him years later how fiercely proud and inspired African-Americans ball players were to have that Texas Western victory. He now seeks opportunities for the best players to be a part of his teams regardless of their race, class, color or creed.

Ironically, after Pat Riley was dunked on in the game by David Lattin, NCAA officials went on to band the intimidating and crowd-stirring art of the slam dunk from 1967-1976, right in time to deny one of the most dominant African-American big men in NCAA history -- Lew Alcindor at UCLA--who would later take on the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and develop the most beautiful and unstoppable shot in basketball, the ‘sky hook.’

Fast forward fifty years later to 2015, and the Kentucky Wildcats basketball program is now led by top recruiter and inclusive coach, John Calipari, who is barely able to secure a minute of quality playing time for the White American players that are left at the end of his team bench. In fact, Kyle Wiltjer, one of the few White players to receive significant playing time over the past six years of Calipari’s Kentucky regime, transferred to Gonzaga, where he’s become a star of the team and a college stand-out.

Under Calipari, the present-day Kentucky Wildcats chase NCAA basketball history as one of the few undefeated teams to enter the NCAA tournament at 34-0, with a chance to win it all at 40-0, with all African-American starters, most of whom will turn pro a month later. Maybe it’s now the time, during our annual month of “March Madness” basketball talk, to remind millions of younger basketball fans how far not only Kentucky has come, but hundreds of other American colleges and universities, who now offer scholarships to African-American student athletes, where they didn’t before.

Coach John Calipari practically brags now about providing young African-American men and their families excellent opportunities to attend college, compete for championships, receive quality educations and ultimately a chance to increase their economic livelihood as professional players through his yearly program of intense competitive, team basketball.

Talk about turning around a program, Kentucky is now night and day from where it was in Glory Road days under Adolf Rupp and the America 1960s. Nevertheless, our next story needs to focus on how many of these new student athletes actually return to school and graduate, while learning something more than what it means to play college basketball as a celebrated phenom. That’s the next history lesson that needs to be told, and the next scholar-athlete movie that needs to written.


Omar Tyree is a New York Times bestselling author, an NAACP Image Award winner for Outstanding Fiction, and a professional journalist, who has published 27 books, including co-authoring Mayor For Life; The Incredible Story of Marion Barry Jr. View more of his career and work @ www.OmarTyree.com

The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast