Monday, February 27, 2017

Late February News

One of the greatest abolitionist, suffragist, poet, and author in American history was the black woman Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland in September 24, 1825. She worked her whole life to promote freedom and justice. She worked in the Underground Railroad to help people go into Canada. She was a great public speaker too and a political activist. He joined the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1853. She was raised by her maternal aunt and uncle, who was Rev. William Watkins, who was a civil rights activist. She was educated at his Academy for Negro Youth. She wrote great literature. She wrote Forest Leaves, published in 1845 when she was 20. Her second book, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (1854), was extremely popular. She wrote short stories and poetry. In 1859, her story of “The Two Offers” was published in the Anglo-African Magazine. She was the first black woman to publish a short story. In 1858, she refused to give up her seat or ride in the segregated section of a segregated trolley car in Philadelphia (which was almost 100 years before Rosa Parks). In 1866, Harper gave a moving speech before the National Women's Rights Convention, demanding equal rights for all, including Black women. During the Reconstruction Era, she worked in the South to review and report on living conditions of freedmen. She desired racial and sexual equality. She wanted the federal government to protect rights, and to promote the general welfare. She and Mary Church Terrell helped to create the National Association of Colored Women in 1894. She was elected vice President in 1897. Frances Watkins passed away on February 25, 1911. She was 85 years old. Rest in Power Sister Frances Ellen Watkins.

Today, we have seen the speech of Donald Trump in the CPAC convention in Maryland. The speakers promoted tax cuts for the wealthy, a massive military buildup, and economic nationalism (in defending America’s “cultural identity”). CPAC is the Conservative Action Committee. It is no secret that Steve Bannon has a strong influence in the Trump White House. Bannon is part of the alt right movement. Alt right is code name for white nationalism and the agenda of white supremacy. Trump’s regime is the first Presidency to have 3 generals and former generals serving in all three national security positions in his cabinet. We already spend a huge amount of money in the military, but Trump wants a bigger investment in the military. 54 cents out of every federal dollar available that's not already apportioned to something else goes to the military. That's the main reason we don't often have enough money for jobs and healthcare and education. It's because the money is going to the military. Trump’s far right diatribe in the Conservative Political Action Conference is truly filled with reactionary propaganda. He attacked the media and promoted “America First” themes. Bannon wants the “deconstruction of the administrative” state, which means the dismantling of social programs and government regulations (along with the expansion of police state measures and the creation of a nationalist trade war economic policy). Apparently following up on this threat, the White House took the unprecedented step later on Friday of barring major media organizations from a briefing held by Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Among the journalists who were prevented from attending the press “gaggle” in Spicer’s office were those from the New York Times, CNN, the BBC and the Los Angeles Times. Other establishment news outlets, as well as right-wing journalists from Breitbart News, the Washington Times and One America News Network, were allowed to attend. It should be no secret that Trump’s policies target immigrants, escalate war abroad, and harm democratic rights at home.

During the year years of basketball, college basketball was always extremely popular in America. The first known U.S. college to field a basketball team against an outside opponent was Vanderbilt University. That team played against the local YMCA in Nashville, Tennessee on February 7, 1893. The second recorded instance of an organized college basketball game was Geneva College’s game against the New Brighton YMCA on April 8, 1893 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania which Geneva won 3-0. The first recorded game between two college teams occurred on February 9, 1895, when Hamline University faced Minnesota A&M (which later became a part of the University of Minnesota). Minnesota A&M won the game, which was played under rules allowing nine players per side, 9–3. The first intercollegiate match using the modern rule of five players per side is often credited as a game between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa, on January 18, 1896. The Chicago team was organized by Amos Alonzo Stagg. He learned the game from James Naismith at the Springfield YMCA. The Chicago team won the game 15-12. Some sources said that the first “true” five on five intercollegiate match was game  between Yale and Penn, because the Iowa team, that played Chicago in 1896, was composed of University of Iowa students, but did not officially represent the University of Iowa – rather being organized through a YMCA. College basketball games spread to colleges nationwide by 1900. In 1897, the AAU (or the Amateur Athletic Union) has taken oversight of basketball activity from the YMCA. By April 1905, representatives of fifteen colleges separately took over control of the college game. They created the collegiate “Basket Ball Rule Committee.” The Committee was in turn absorbed into the predecessor of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (or NCAA) in 1909. The extremely popular NCAA’ Men’s Basketball Tournament was created in 1939. Basketball traveled quickly internationally. In 1909, the first international match was held in Saint Petersburg.  Mayak Saint Petersburg beat a YMCA American team. The first great European event was held in 1919 in Joinville-le-Pont, near Paris, during the Inter-Allied Games. United States, led by future Hall of Fame player Max Friedman, won against Italy and France, and then Italy beat France. Basketball soon became popular among French and Italians. The Italian team had a white shirt with the House of Savoy shield and the players were: Arrigo and Marco Muggiani, Baccarini, Giuseppe Sessa, Palestra, Pecollo and Bagnoli.

World basketball grew as well during the early 20th century. On June 18, 1932, a real international organization was created. It had tournaments and teams. Argentina, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland founded the International Basketball Federation (Fédération internationale de basketball amateur, FIBA) in Geneva. Its actions and work was crucial in causing the first inclusion of basketball in the Berlin Summer Olympic Games in 1936. The first Olympic title was won by the U.S. national team: Sam Balter, Ralph Bishop, Joe Fortenberry, Tex Gibbons, Francis Johnson, Carl Knowles, Frank Lubin, Art Mollner, Donald Piper, Jack Ragland, Willard Schmidt, Carl Shy, Duane Swanson, Bill Wheatley and the trainer James Needles. Canada was runner-up; the games were played on an outdoor clay court. The first World Championship was held in Argentina in 1950. The NBA was called the Basketball league at first in June 6, 1946. It was founded in New York City. The American Basketball Association or the ABA was created as an alternative to the NBA in 1967. This was when the NBA had a lot of popularity. The ABA offered an alternative ethos and game style as well as some changes in the rules. Julius Erving was the leading player in the league, and helped launch a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. His playing strength helped legitimize the American Basketball Association. The league emphasized excitement and liveliness, be it in the color of the ball (red, white and blue), the manner of play, wild promotions, or the three-point shot. National recognition and earnings were low, leading the league to look for a way out of its problems. That is why the ABA soon merged with the NBA. The ABA was merged with the NBA in the summer of 1976. Its four most  successful franchises (the New York Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, and San Antonio Spurs) being incorporated into the older league.  The aggressive, loose style of play and the three-point shot were taken up by the NBA.

African Americans have a long history in the early years of basketball. The Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn and the St. Christopher Club of New York City were established as the first fully organized independent all-black basketball teams in 1906. These teams were amateur. In 1907 the amateur, all-black Olympian Athletic League was formed in New York City consisting of the Smart Set Athletic Club, St. Christopher Club, Marathon Athletic Club, Alpha Physical Culture Club, and the Jersey City Colored YMCA. The first inter-city basketball game between two black teams was played in 1907 when the Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn traveled to Washington, DC to play the Crescent Athletic Club. In 1908, Smart Set Athletic Club of Brooklyn, a member of the Olympian Athletic League was named the first Colored Basketball World's Champion. In 1910 Howard University’s first varsity basketball team started. In 1922 the Commonwealth Five, the first all-black professional team was founded. The New York Renaissance was founded in 1923. In 1939 the all-black New York Renaissance beat the all-white Oshkosh All-Stars in the World Pro Basketball Tournament. From the late 1920's the African American Harlem Globetrotters were a successful touring team, winning the WPBT in 1940. The all-white National Basketball League began to racially integrate in 1942 with 10 black players joining two teams, the Toledo Jim White Chevrolets, and the Chicago Studebakers. The NBA integrated in 1950–51 seasons, just two years after its founding, with three black players each achieving a separate milestone in that process. In the draft held immediately prior to that season, Chuck Cooper became the first black player drafted by an NBA team. Shortly after the draft, Nat Clifton became the first black player to sign an NBA contract. Finally, Earl Lloyd became the first black player to appear in an NBA game as his team started its season before either Cooper's or Clifton's. After the integration of the NBA, the Harlem Globetrotters started to focus on international touring and exhibition performances, including comic routines. These tours helped to popularize basketball internationally, and gave the Globetrotters the reputation as Basketball's goodwill ambassadors.

By Timothy

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