Photo: Super Bowl XIII Black Santa Claus and his merry men
CBS/NFL studio host James Brown was on the front page of the sports section in the Washington Post on Tuesday he was advertised as the Black Santa? I found the title totally disrespectful. I found nothing in the story mentioning anything about Christmas! He is on the verge of hosting his 9th Super Bowl which is a hell of an accomplishment for a local boy that made good in sports media.
The story made me look back and say “Why not me?” I went back to my archives to do some research and quickly discovered why it was not me. I didn’t play the game.
In 1974 the Washington Star Sports columnist the late J. D. Beathea wrote a column titled, “Harold Bell.” In the first paragraph he writes, ‘Harold Bell is the only black guy living in America who grew up in a ghetto in real poverty, but still never learned to ‘Play the Game’, that great American past time. Everyone plays the game to some degree that is what success is all about. Playing the Game, being alternately malleable assertive with the right people at the right time, Bell never learned. If he had, given his drive and single mindfulness, he would have been dangerous.”
J. D. got it right to some extent, I knew how to play the game but I refuse to play it because if it was not going to help my people I was not playing. Too many of my ancestors died trying to make me a free black man in America. They were hung by their necks, homes set on fire, their children were sold to racist white slave owners and their wives were raped and killed just for the fun of it. I have never been into success at any cost for example, by way of stepping on others to get to the next level, lying and cheating, using alcohol and drugs to go along to get along, despite me beating those odds I am still flawed!
In 2019 We are surrounded by that same plantation mentality. It will be on display at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Sunday with James Brown in the broadcast booth pretending he is down with the struggle of the black community.
He is “The Chosen One” don’t expect him to write a commentary asking the question, why are there no black American NFL owners and only 2 black coaches, and why are the players being treated like slaves by the owners?
Left to Right: Harold Bell, his wife Hattie and and his good friend Gary Johnson
Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–-sports talk radio with classic interviews with sports celebrities, politicians and news makers of the day. The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for almost 50 years with the help of his wife Hattie through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc. To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site.
Last year Harold released a book: “My Walk Through Sports History with Champs & Chumps!”
My Walk Through Sports History with Champs & Chumps! by Harold Bell
This book makes a great gift for any occasion.
Book Cost: $30 (plus $6.55 Shipping & Handling)
Total Cost: $36.55
|Multiple Copies of Harold’s Book|
Here’s a book preview:
Here’s what people are saying about Harold Bell’s new book, “My Walk Through Sports History with Champs & Chumps”
Harold: Just finished reading your book. Thanks for the honorable mention in your dedication section. I really enjoyed reading the book. There are not too many people on this planet who get to have their life’s work memorialized in such a beautiful and attractive book. Dr. Harry Edwards was right, “Your work was a major force over the years especially in terms of the struggle to define and project Our Truth.” I hope that you will think about teaching at a local university or college. There are a lot of bright-eyed and bushy tailed journalism and communications students who would love to receive your direction and guidance. In addition to what you give the students, the joy and satisfaction you would receive from seeing their faces light up when they understand a point you are making is immeasurable.
Byron Berry is a native Washingtonian and a Administrative Law Judge now living in California
“If you get a chance to meet a living legend who is known by the “who’s who” in sports, broadcasting, politics, civil rights and philanthropy, that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you get a chance to work closely with that individual, you are truly blessed. Harold Bell is a “truth teller,” from Washington, DC. He has touched the lives of thousands and mentored many of this nation’s black broadcasters, writers and sports personalities. “My World Through Sports History with Champs & Chumps,” is a book that tells it’s story through photographs. Harold Bell’s personal archives is “museum-worthy” and he has it on full display in this book covering over 50 years of history, tragedy and personal triumph. And through it all, he’s still standing, with a lot more to give.”
Gary Johnson – Publisher, Black Men In America.com
Here’s a video of Harold and his YouTube co-host Christopher Johnson