As a young child born near the time of World War II, I was told that "knowledge is power."
Years later, I learned that to have a "voice" or a chance to freely express yourself, is also a "power."
In a country which was founded on the premises of life, liberty and justice for all, I observed that there were structural barriers in sports, education, religious organizations, politics, and more.
During my earlier years, my peers believed that NFL football and NBA basketball careers gave them easier access to fame and fortune. Many of my peers had outstanding professional athletic careers. Life after those careers sometimes took a twist and turn toward health, emotional or other problems.
Secondly, during the 1960s I heard people like Mr. Pluria Marshall, Dr. John B. Coleman, and Mr. Mack H. Hannah talk about the fact that we need to have more ownership in the media.
It might help to add that Dr. John B. Coleman was the first African American to serve on the Board of Regents of Texas A & M University System; and Mr. Mack H. Hannah was the first African American (Texas) millionaire of record, and first African American to serve on the Board of Regents in the University of Houston System.
Dr. Coleman helped fund a program for former NFL athletes like John White, Ernie Ladd and others. Mr. Hannah quietly and discreetly gave financial advice and assistance to some of the retired professional athletes.
Mr. Pluria Marshall was wise in negotiating the purchase of radio stations (and television stations). He quietly helped a few men and women invest in purchases of media outlets.
Dr. Coleman was a mentor and friend. Mr. Mack Hannah was my employer and mentor in the late 1970s. Hannah also was the mentor of U. S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who made a powerful presentation during Watergate. Jordan was my lawyer when I was a young college student with aspirations in business and community service.
During those early years, I joined a group called the Black Communicators of America. Although I was an English major, I was accepted by the group of young, aspiring journalists. In those days, I wrote viewpoints and editorials.
Then, I witnessed what happened to athletes who attended historically black colleges and univerisities, for example, like Texas Southern University, Prairie View University, and other colleges.
I observed the patterns.
In some cases, the present stories and life situations are not that good. I continue to see patterns. I see problems.
I see propagated errors. There are errors which are built on earlier errors. A divergence occurs and instead of approaching a limit of life, liberty and justice, some situations have spiraled into confusion, calamity and chaos.
I do not have the energy to walk the streets and carry a banner to protest those things that are not in alignment with freedom and justice for all. Instead, I write. I question. I conjecture.
I focus on sports because it is an industry that has the potential of touching millions of young people. If, by some stroke of chance, an idea is "read" and someone learns a new way to deal with a recurrent historical problem, then I am pleased.
I write to untangle myself from a "Houdini situation," deep underwater, in time enough to get my breath, and carry on.
I write because there are those in early American history who were punished and deterred from reading, writing and learning arithmetic.
I write because I have met women like the 99-year-old lady (shown above) from Mississippi who had a natural gift of mathematical understanding, but was hindered from getting a fine education because of her gender or race.
I write and research to uncover the covert and overt forms of prejudice that continue to wound the hearts and minds of young and old, rich and poor, strong and weak.
I write because I have faith that what I write will awaken a "kinder and gentler" character in the hearts and minds of the readers.
My hope is that the next generation will optimize the positive attributes of mankind, rather than do the dual of optimizing the negative and destructive attributes.
I write to demonstrate the clarity of mind I have because I have been protected, uplifted and encouraged by the senior citizens in my sociometric. They challenge me to write, go forward, achieve, think, deliberate, negotiate, and continue to be free and have liberty in sports, education, and in society, in general.
Now back to the Bleacher Report.
Someone emailed me at my yahoo address and invited me to write about senior players in the sports (NFL) arena. I responded. That is why I am here.
My question to you is: Why do you write?
I invite you to explore the question and to post your response.
I have got to go now.....and WRITE.
An article I did on the 99-year-old lady only got 45 reads in the Bleacher Report. In September 2009, an adaptation of the article will be published by a newsletter sponsored by the United States Military Academy (West Point).
Dr. Don Small is the editor who revised and selected it.
I am appreciative of the editorial support and space given to me in the Bleacher Report. Great things will surely happen as we continue to write.
The keen eye and mind of Mr. Leroy Watson humbled me. I am grateful to B/R and to him.