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
Tag Archives: Black History
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
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
(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
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
By DAVE ZIRIN*
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
By JOSH HEALEY*
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
attacked the atmosphere
of Olympic Stadium
Mexico City, 1968
Tommie Smith and John Carlos
took gold and bronze
then took Black Power
tacked on my bedroom wall
centered on the two men
about to receive more hate mail
than Hank Aaron and Muhammad Ali combined
i barely noticed Continue reading
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
Australian athlete stood for rights at home and in the US
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
“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