Hello, Goodbye

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The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
19 September 2014

I. School Supplies

During August and September one expects to see back-to-school sales at places like Macy’s, J.C. Penney, and numerous other national retailers that sell clothing and student-desired or needed accessories…but when I see such signs at the tattoo shop and the weave hair store, I’m trying to figure out the connection.

II. Sunrise, Sunset

It is getting to the point where the New York Yankees will have to virtually run the table – as did the Colorado Rockies a few years back down the stretch – in their remaining games in order to keep their season alive…as well as the career of Derek Jeter who, as most everyone that has not been asleep or comatose for the entire 2014 knows, is retiring at season’s end.

As sad as many fans are at seeing Jeter’s storied career come to an end, one thing history has taught us is that as one door closes behind someone, another opens to let someone else in. While Jeter was receiving his “parting gifts” in this second consecutive year of a Yankee icon retirement, one of the great new baseball stories was that of Mo’ne Davis, the first girl to pitch a shutout at the Little League World Series and the first to express a desire to play hoops for the University of Connecticut…in four years, after she completes high school. Mo’ne had non-fans following the Taney Little League team, and went on to visit Dodger Stadium and appear on the Tonight Show.

So given that she had not yet stepped foot in the ninth grade when we “met” her at the LLWS, why should UConn coach Geno Auriemma’s congratulatory call be a recruiting violation? Really, NCAA?

III. Portland, Maine?

In what has to be one of the great tweets of all time, the Portland Trail Blazers asked, back in December, “Is it too late to join the Eastern Conference? Asking for a friend.” Perhaps they might like to get a little head start on their application this year.

Now after seeing the beast-like play of Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis in the FIBA World Cup, I’d advice Denver and New Orleans to do the same…although if healthy, I believe the deep Denver team can be a playoff team in the West.

IV. Human Lowlight Film

Much has been made of the statements in the recently self-released email by Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson, after which he announced his intention to sell his interest in the team. I would say that instead of selling the team, he ought sit down with African-Americans in the organization and the community-at-large to see why some of his stated concerns are off base.

One of his main concerns was that affluent whites – the type of people that were buying season tickets in other cities – were not at the Hawks games, and the Black clientele was not financially able to purchase such tickets. I don’t live in Atlanta, but it is widely known that there is a thriving Black professional community in the ATL, and more people are moving there all the time…out of which I am certain there are those that could buy season tickets. My take is that part of the problem is that the Hawks have not put an exciting enough team on the floor to attract these potential customers of any race, much less a team that fans felt had a real shot a competing for the Eastern Conference championship. As far as bringing in musical acts for post-game concerts that are attractive to forty-something white guys – as opposed to hip-hop artists – don’t be fooled into thinking that white people aren’t a large portion of the music purchasing and concert attending fan base of hip-hop artists.

If anyone needs to go, it’s GM Danny Ferry, who described Luol Deng – born in South Sudan – as having “a little African in him,” which according to his statement is less than honorable.

V. About Time

Finally New York City has come to an agreement to compensate the Central Park 5, the young men who as teenagers were accused and jailed for a rape that DNA evidence proved they did not commit. No one will ever be able to compensate them for all of that lost time in prison, but hopefully several million dollars will lighten the load on the rest of their lives.

Now if only Donald Trump will issue an apology for his full-page New York Times ad calling them animals and the like. Maybe he’s been too busy watching his casino close.

VI. What Scares You?

Why is it that Republicans are so afraid of measures that can enable more people…or is it just people of color…to be able to vote? Correct me if I’m wrong, Canadian friends and family, but I’d rather have Toronto mayor Rob Ford than many of them.

VII. WWII Diary

All roads lead to Sisters Uptown Bookstore, just beyond the corner of 156th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, on Thursday, September 25th for the reading/book signing for my mother’s book, WWII Diary. Here’s a recent review:

“This book is a modern classic. Author Winnie Williams’ vivid prose catapults the reader into a front row seat in history. We almost become traveling companions, as Williams, recounts her experiences within the global crucible of WWII and the Jim Crow South. This is great history- made all the more fascinating from her vantage point, as a young African American bride. In this regard, the book offers a refreshingly unique perspective.

WWII Diary begins innocently as an engaging coming of age romantic saga. The narrative shape shifts to compelling historical context, when Williams becomes an inadvertent activist during her initial racist encounters in the south. The author is disarmingly provocative, particularly when delving into issues of race. Throughout the book these incidents are increasingly negotiated with elegant ferocity and resolve.

WW II Diary offers profound, in some instances, hurtful insights concerning life; however, it is not without humor, even tongue in cheek playfulness.

This is an important book for those unacquainted with this critical period of history and for those who require re- acquaintance under the imminent danger of eroding civil rights.

WW II Diary-Travels and Experiences of a Black Soldier’s Wife, has all the makings of a powerful PBS Masterpiece Theatre Series.”

Hope to see you there!

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