Warren Ballentine

Recent Articles

HBCU coaches tend to see athletes as students first


The latest NCAA graduation rates report shows that overall Division I student-athletes graduate at 80 percent, but the oft-overlooked fact is that Black student-athletes graduate at least 20 percent lower than their White counterparts. Even a sport-by-sport breakdown analysis points out that Blacks lag behind Whites in every sport ranging anywhere from 12 percentage points (women’s basketball) to 23 points (men’s basketball). This “significant graduation gap” between University of Minnesota Black and White student-athletes over a five-year period was the focus of a MSRfront-page article this week. Sadly, most of us, especially in the Black community, rather direct our outrage toward who gets voted off reality show islands or dancing shows than publicly demanding an answer to why our Black athletes — most of which aren’t going to the pros after college — are not graduating from predominately White institutions at the same rate, if not better, than White athletes. Seemingly too many Black parents are delusional about getting rich quick off their son or daughter: University of Washington-Vancouver English Professor Thabiti Lewis recently offered such an example. Continue Reading →

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Cities’ youth hear celebrities’ success stories



By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Singer-songwriter Ledisi, nationally syndicated radio talk host Warren BallentineWarren Ballentine, and actress Kim Coles were panelists at the half-day United Negro College Fund “Empower Me Tour” stop in Minneapolis October 13 at Dunwoody College of Technology. Each told a packed auditorium of Twin Cities middle- and high-school students how they overcame personal struggles until they eventually achieved success. Ledisi Anibade Young — her first name is Nigerian and means “to come forth” — was born in New Orleans and left home at age 18, later forming a group named after her middle name in 1995. However, she said initially she wasn’t able to convince record execs, who often told her, “You sound good, but we don’t know what to do with you.”

After opening for Chaka Khan, Ledisi was signed by Verve in 2000, and the twice-Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter said she now has four albums to her credit. “I am living my parents’ dream,” she said proudly. Continue Reading →

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