Tag Archives: Black History

This Day. Jack Johnson demolishes Jim Jeffries and the racist myth of the ‘Great White Hope’

Jack Johnson | United States Library of Congress

On July 3, 1910 one century ago this day in Reno, Nevada, African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocked out the white supremacist Jim Jeffries, triggering a series of racist attacks across the United States; about 20 Blacks died, and hundreds were injured. Johnson holds a seminal position not only in boxing but also in athletics and in the movement for the rights of all. Continue reading

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Michael Jordan’s ‘Last Dance’: A celebration of the American nightmare

Michael Jordan

By Danny Haiphong

Michael Jordan embodies the kind of athlete and Black leader that the U.S. ruling class has gone to great lengths to cultivate.

Michael Jordan is perhaps the best player to ever set foot in an NBA arena or any arena for that matter. His achievements have inspired generations of fans and players alike. The Last Dance is a tribute to the greatness of Michael Jordan. In typical Disney fashion, Jordan’s legacy is framed as a tale of perseverance and hardship on the road to the American Dream. The documentary is a reminder that the making of Michael Jordan has always been a celebration of Malcolm X’s American Nightmare, and that this nightmare has come at great cost to Black America and the lives of working people all over the world. Continue reading

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Ice breakers, a short documentary about Black hockey players then and now

 
Photo NFB

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – At this summer’s 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival, three new shorts were screened that were part of the National Film Board of Canada’s Re-Imagining Nova Scotia series.

Filmmaker Alex Kronstein went to see all three of them, and here is his review of Ice breakers, directed by Sandi Rankaduwa, about a rising teen hockey star from Cole Harbour who is Black and dreams of playing in the NHL. Continue reading

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EULOGY TO WILMA

Wilma Rudolph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(A TRIBUTE TO WILMA RUDOLPH)

By PETER ELIAS, 1995

 

Five long years before your birth

Roman plunder spoiled our land

For Ethiopia’s sake you ran

And proudly took the victory stand.

By then the Allies had restored

Some sanity to life on earth

You arrived in Rome to show the world

Your triumph from a Dixie birth.

Fired up by Jesse’s feat

In that adjacent Axis city

With grace and pace for all to see

Gold, not one, or two, but three.

Countless other women tried

To reach your mark and failed

Battling on with maladies

Wilma’s will to live prevailed.

In track you carved your personal path

From Tennessee to Italy

Reaching ever for the stars

The best that you could ever be

We said goodbye to you O QUEEN

In the Fall of ninety-four

We dearly miss that golden smile

And the heart that beats no more.

*Note: Wilma Rudolph overcame major health problems (childhood polio) and racism in the US south to compete in two Olympic Games and become a triple Olympic champion. She was the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics in 1960, at the Summer Games in Rome. She was considered the fastest woman in the world. Her life is a great inspiration for us, as we face today’s many challenges.

From Earth, Wind and Fire, by Peter Elias, Halifax, 1995

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Legendary Olympian puts Charles Barkley in his place

John Carlos | New York Daily News / Hermann, Marc, A.

John Carlos | New York Daily News / HERMANN, MARC, A.

A comment by TONY SEED

John Carlos and Charles Barkley are both “mavericks”, but only one ever put his life and livelihood on the line. Both have political opinions, one progressive and the other crude and self-serving. The former are little known, the latter are widely propagated. One champions popular resistance to state-sanctioned murder, the other police impunity. One gets by, the other is a big property owner and businessman, who enriched himself by capitalizing on his considerable skills through professional sport and TV, with an estimated net worth of $30 million. One website says he pulled in an obscene $46 million between November 2013 and November 2014, a nearly $20 million lead over his closest competition amongst pro athletes: Continue reading

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Fists of freedom: An Olympic story not taught in school

By DAVE ZIRIN*

Olympic Project for Human Rights button, worn by activist athletes in the 1968 Olympic games, originally called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympic Games. The iconic photo appears in many history textbooks, stripped of the story of the planned boycott and demands, creating the appearance of a solitary act of defiance.

Olympic Project for Human Rights button, worn by activist athletes in the 1968 Olympic games, originally called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympic Games. The iconic photo appears in many history textbooks, stripped of the story of the planned boycott and demands, creating the appearance of a solitary act of defiance.

It has been almost 44 years since Tommie Smith and John Carlos took the medal stand following the 200-meter dash at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and created what must be considered the most enduring, riveting image in the history of either sports or protest. But while the image has stood the test of time, the struggle that led to that moment has been cast aside. Continue reading

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Elegy for Peter Norman

By JOSH HEALEY*

Tommie Smith (left) and John Carlos carry Peter Norman’s coffin | Wayne Taylor.

Tommie Smith (left) and John Carlos carry Peter Norman’s coffin | Wayne Taylor.

I don’t like whiteness. And as a white person looking for some heroes, it’s lonely out here. The museum’s empty.
—Macon Detournay from Angry Black White Boy by Adam Mansbach

two fists
attacked the atmosphere
of Olympic Stadium
Mexico City, 1968

Tommie Smith and John Carlos
took gold and bronze
then took Black Power
center stage

that image
tacked on my bedroom wall
centered on the two men
about to receive more hate mail
than Hank Aaron and Muhammad Ali combined

you, Pete,
i barely noticed Continue reading

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Distinction Earned is a distinctive read

By CHARLES R. SAUNDERS*

PAUL MACDOUGALL’s recently published book, Distinction Earned: Cape Breton’s Boxing Legends 1946-1970, chronicles the exploits of an exceptional group of gloved warriors from one of the smallest Canadian provinces. As well, it’s about the last years of a time when boxing was part and parcel of the community, rather than the niche sport it has become today.

From the beginning of the last century up to the late 1960s, boxing was a dominant sport in North America. In the United States, it shared the spotlight with baseball. In Canada, it was second only to hockey. Continue reading

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Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive – Peter Norman 1942-2006

Australian athlete stood for rights at home and in the US

Mexico City, October 16, 1968: U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right) take the podium for their medal ceremony and raise their fists in the Black Power salute. At left is Australian silver medallist Peter Norman, who wore a civil rights badge in solidarity

Mexico City, October 16, 1968: U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith (centre) and John Carlos (right) take the podium for their medal ceremony and raise their fists in the Black Power salute. At left is Australian silver medallist Peter Norman, who wore a civil rights badge in solidarity

By MARGARET REES

Thirty eight years ago, on October 16, 1968, the medals ceremony at the Mexico Olympics was converted into a symbolic demonstration of the struggle against oppression.

US black sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos, respectively first and third in the men’s 200 metres, defiantly raised clenched fist salutes as the American national anthem played. Their stand in support of civil rights and against racism reverberated internationally. The photograph of their protest has become one of the most recognised images in the world, after that of the first moon landing.

The unexpected silver medalist, 26-year-old Australian Peter Norman, wore a button of the “Olympic Project for Human Rights” – a civil rights protest movement set up by black athlete Harry Edwards before the Games – in support of his two fellow athletes. Continue reading

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The lost history of the Coloured hockey leagues of the Maritimes, 1895-1925

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.” – The Book of Habakkuk, Chapter 1, Verse 5

Excerpts from George and Darril Fosty’s Black Ice*

Rewriting American History

American history has always promoted the myth of the original thirteen colonies. In truth, at the time of the American Revolution, there was no such thing as thirteen colonies. There were actually nineteen – six of those colonies did not agree with the Revolution. Those colonies became Canada. Page 13.

Rewriting Canadian History

Patriotism is a strange creature. The Black man, since the earliest days of Canadian history has been one of the greatest defenders of Canada. And yet, his accomplishments have never been fully told nor recorded. It is as if the Black man had never existed. Continue reading

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