Black Interests

While Kids Die – I Remember Calvin Woodland by Harold Bell


Eleven year old Karon Brown was among seven people in a period of 5 days shot dead in DC.  Every child that dies by gun violence in DC, Maryland and Virginia, I consider them a personal lost.  I am all in when it comes to our children no matter their ethnicity.Karon’s violent death hit close to home.  He attended Stanton Elementary school and he was a member of the Woodland Tigers football team, once known as the Woodland Raiders.  The team was found by my partner, youth advocate and DC boxing legend the late Calvin Woodland.

The Woodland Raiders practiced on the field adjacent to the school.  Calvin was the CEO and coach of the team.  He ran the team with an iron fist (sometimes literally).  I was his assistant coach and I had his back and he had mine.

The kids and their parents trusted, loved and respected him.  The Woodland Raiders became legends in the community and were the pride of SE Washington.  I remember when his son little Alexis was born and became the apple of his father’s eye.  Big Calvin was a great all-around athlete, football, basketball, baseball and his first love boxing–he excelled in them all.

Little Alexis grew up to be a decent athlete but nothing like his father.  Sometimes Calvin pushed him a little too hard not wanting to show favoritism and little Alexis would rebel.  When Calvin suffered a stroke and died suddenly in January 2010 it shook up the community and especially little Alexis.  Calvin was 60 years old.

I tried to become a mentor to little Alexis, but he was stubborn like his father, and I eventually lost him when I moved to Bowie, Maryland.  Someone shot and killed him in the streets of SE DC.

That is me with my left arm wrapped around little Alexis and my right arm wrapped around gospel singer Robin ‘Sugar’ Williams.   We were the guest of gospel artist Ed Gerald on his gospel television show on TV 7 in NW DC.

That is little Alexis standing front and center at my annual Kids In Trouble Christmas toy party.  NFL legend Jim Brown is Santa’s Helper at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in NW DC.

Children from all walks of life enjoy a Kids In Trouble toy party at the Marriott Hotel in Rosslyn, Virginia.

Calvin Woodland is seen here with me and Don King. He stood 5 ft. 3 in., but walked around in his SE neighborhood like Wilt Chamberlain. There was no Napoleon complex with him. The likes of Calvin Woodland has been replaced by hustlers and frauds claiming to “Make Children First”!

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