Here we are with part two of my month long series celebrating Black Excellence throughout the history of the arts, politics, and sports among others. In part one, I shouted out a few names from the past and present such as Anderson .Paak and Coretta Scott King. In this one I shout out another favorite musician of mine as well as one of sport’s greatest champions. Before that however, the first recipient of this shout out shall be none other than the one and only DeRay McKesson.
DeRay McKesson; (Activist) – DeRay has been a key figure in the recent Black Lives Matter movement. His proficiency in spreading awareness on what goes on is vital and much appreciated. I believe this man has good intentions and is very open with his thoughts along with ideas. DeRay is interactive with most people on social media which adds on to his genuine persona. I admire his hard work and willingness to help inspire change for the benefit of People of Color and to that I salute you. Good luck in your campaign to become Mayor of Baltimore good sir!
Kanye West; (Musician) – Kanye Omari West is the name. Kanye is a lot of things. Kanye is the most polarizing figure in Hip Hop. Kanye is obnoxious. Kanye is a mad genius. However most importantly, Kanye is Kanye. Yeezy himself is one of the few who got me into Hip Hop/Rap as a middle schooler. His versatility and ability to take risk in attempts to change the landscape of music is what I admire from him the most. Kanye has sold millions of records, produced quality ones at that, and has garnered success (he has 21 Grammys and counting among others). Even though sometimes he can be erratic and volatile with his personality, I can respect him for the fact that he does not shy away from how he feels and approaches everything head on. And for that I salute you Mr. West.
Ken Griffey Jr; (Athlete) – Shout out to this recent first ballot hall of fame inductee. Ken Griffey Jr was one of the MLB’s premier and popular star for years. The 600 home run club member was one of the reasons many African American youth invested their time into baseball. A lot of children looked up to him and wanted to be like him. He was himself and a great player. In a sport which African Americans made up the small percentage, he was one who stood out over many of all races. Hopefully we see his hall of fame plaque with him rocking the baseball cap backwards because it would be too dope. Shout out to you KG, your shoes are dope as well.
Bill Russell; (Athlete) – The eleven time NBA champion recently turned 82 recently and he’s still going strong. The former Boston Celtic now hall of famer is not only one of basketball’s important pioneers but also important for his civil rights work. He was active in the Black Power movement and often would fight for his own right as well as others to be treated properly in the world of sports among others. Aside from being one the greatest defensive players ever (many of the rules/stats in basketball exist today primarily because of him and Wilt Chamberlain), I commend his bravery from withstanding all those years of dealing with the prejudice and racism from Boston fans. He never backed down and would command respect. Today, the NBA Finals MVP trophy is named after him and it’s presented every year by him which is fitting since he is an eleven time world champion. Topping it all off with a fun fact, he was the first NBA player to visit Africa. It’s always nice to visit your roots while winning championships. Now that is Black Excellence.
Welcome to the AD report.