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Willie Wood and the Washington Post Catch A Thief! By Harold Bell

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This is a Black American History Moment

We are given little credit for living and get little or no credit in death for our life here on earth.

The Washington Post broke the mold during Black History Month on Thursday, February 6, 2020. In a story written in the obituary section titled, “Packer’s star defensive back key to Super Bowl l Victory!” In an unusual turn of events, the Washington Post gave native Washingtonian Willie Wood credit for living and dying in America, but it backfired on them.

The last DC Public School black coach/athlete whose obituary appeared in the Washington Post and whose name was not Joe Gallagher or Morgan Wooten, was my Spingarn High School coach, Dave Brown (Elgin Baylor), thanks to sports editor George Solomon I wrote his obituary.  Legendary athletes and coaches like Fairmont Heights HS basketball coach, Kenny Freeman, Spingarn HS coach, William Roundtree (Dave Bing), Gary ‘One-Arm-Bandit) Mays (Coach Charlie Baltimore) are given no credit for their accomplishments in this Game Called Life.   Mays for example, is the only one-armed baseball player to hit a homerun out of old Griffin Stadium in Washington, DC. He also did what was thought impossible, he helped to hold Elgin Baylor the greatest basketball player to ever come out of DC to 18 points. This was well below his 40 point average. The feat helped Armstrong to win the segregated Division II Public High School Championship.  Roland ‘Fatty’ Taylor is a ABA/NBA trailblazer (Fairmont Heights HS).  He is the only player out of DC to excel in both the ABA and NBA, and last but not least, James Ratif, Eastern High School was a first-team All-Met and All-American basketball player when he died in January 2020. The story of their demise never appeared in the Washington Post.

Willie Wood and Robert Schmidt

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