The surviving members of the Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson families respectively are regularly introduced as baseball royalty. It’s rightly deserved. “It is recognition of our parents,” says Luis Roberto Clemente, one of Roberto and Vera’s three sons. “We in a very humble way accept it.”
Jackie Robinson’s story is legendary and well known: His uniform number is forever retired by every Major League Baseball club. Chadwick Boseman and Nicole Beharie played Jackie and Rachel Robinson in 42. Continue Reading →
Tuesday is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. Every player on all 30 MLB clubs will wear the number 42 on their backs — the same number Robinson wore when he broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948; the same number every club permanently retired save for one day a year.
“I’ve always known the significance of that number,” admits Minnesota Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks, the team’s only U.S.-born Black player, “definitely for me being a Black player.”
Hicks ranks Robinson in the same trailblazing light as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks. “They are heroes, and he is right up there with them,” believes the second-year centerfielder. “He was the guy who took a lot of crap and handled it the right way. Continue Reading →
Can Major League Baseball’s new instant replay system stretch baseball games even longer? “I don’t think it will extend the game,” believes Minnesota Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire, who briefly talked about instant replay to the MSR before the club left for spring training in February. The Twins’ 2014 season began earlier this week in Chicago. Among the new instant replay protocols, managers have at least one challenge of an umpire’s call each game up to the beginning of the seventh inning. If the challenged play is overturned, the manager gets to keep their challenge but gets no more than two challenges per game. Continue Reading →
I’ve written hundreds of columns over the years but never about the N-Word. It is a term that makes my temperature rise and my skin boil. First of all, we should not be having this open discussion or debate. But the N-Word won’t go away, primarily because too many of us Blacks-African Americans-Negroes-Colored-whichever one you chose to identify with refuse to leave that term alone. Instead, we have taken ownership of that word. Continue Reading →
Have you ever put 110 percent effort in at work or into a project? Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you worked, it was not enough? Have you ever felt the need to work harder than normal and still not get the credit or respect for your work? Do you think your efforts are affecting your health? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be suffering from John Henryism! Continue Reading →
The little boy in the 1974 movie Claudine told James Earl Jones’ character that he wanted to be invisible. When asked why, the frustrated youngest son of Diahann Carroll’s character simply replied that since his older siblings regularly ignore him, he might just as well be invisible. This reporter can easily relate to that boy, because I too am invisible — but not because I want to be. When I became a reporter in the mid-1970s, I reluctantly accepted the experience of being snubbed as some so-called rite of passage, of paying my media dues. However, five decades-plus later, I am still getting cold shoulders too often from persons who aren’t half my age or experience and who couldn’t spell “journalist” without help from a computerized spell check. Continue Reading →
A movie review
By Dwight Hobbes
Were baseball, back in 1947, the boring, high-priced waste of time and money it is today, you’d have to wonder why Jackie Robinson went to the trouble. In those days, though, it was an exciting sport to watch and, of course, to play. Athletes loved the game. They had to. Unlike today’s lackadaisical, overpaid prima donnas, even the stars of the sport then worked jobs in the off-season, selling furniture, pumping gas, farming, what have you. Continue Reading →
Fri., Apr. 12, 10 pm • Epic, 110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742 or epicmpls.com
Grammy award-winning Jamaican reggae artist and self-proclaimed “King of Dancehall.”
Fri., Apr. 12, 7 pm • Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-338-2674 or www.thecedar.org • Catch the Midwest debut by Mali’s new music sensation, who has been wooing critics and lighting up stages around the world with her radiant voice, coolly infectious Afro-pop, and smoking live band.
Eric Kamau Gravatt
Fri., Apr. Continue Reading →
A new movie on the life of Jackie Robinson premieres Friday. It has support from people in high places. “We think that everybody in this country needs to watch this movie,” advises First Lady Michelle Obama on the movie 42 after she and her husband, President Barack Obama viewed a private screening last week at the White House. The first of several Minnesota Twins “Diversity Days” will be Monday April 15, the day Major League Baseball (MLB) annually honors Robinson’s major league debut in 1947. “It was an important and powerful moment in baseball when Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers,” recalls Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. Continue Reading →
Thurs., Apr. 4, 8 pm • Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010 or www.dakotacooks.com • With a sound that evokes comparison to Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and Prince, Rahsaan Patterson has become a force in the R&B/neo-soul world. For over 15 years Patterson has released five albums, toured constantly and has collaborated with a number of soul music luminaries.
Toots and the Maytals
Sat., Apr. 6, 9 pm • Mill City Nights, 111 5th St. Continue Reading →