Demontrae Jefferson from Milwaukee put on a show in Texas Southern’s First Four win over NC Central. The Sophomore and SWAC MVP recorded a game-high 25 points to go along with 8 rebounds. He has put up 1,000 points in his young career shooting 8-18 to lead TSU to history for the school first win in an NCAA Tournament after eight attempts.
Their next stop comes against an East Region top seed Xavier in Nashville on Friday night.
The Tigers got off to a slow start in the First Four bracket against the North Carolina Central Eagles making only two of their first nine shots. There star Jefferson hit a jumper and the Tigers seems to have gotten their footing and hit 8-13 baskets. Jefferson had 17 points at halftime and TSU was ahead 36-26.
The Eagles made a push early in the second half to no avail. The Tigers thwarted all attempts after an 11-2 run, NC Eagle, Pablo Rivas’ ended the drought but Tiger Donte Clark quickly answered.
Clark ended the night with 18 points for the Tigers on seven free throws and just 4-14 from the field. Trayvon Reed helped the Tigers to victory by blocking six shots and scoring 10 points off the bench.
Coach Mike Davis coached the Tigers to historic victory after an early season of playing top national teams throughout the country. The Tigers are now 16-19 as they head to Nashville for Friday’s game against Xavier.
Colin Kaepernick took to social media this Fourth of July announcing his visits to different African locations. Kaepernick’s hajj places him in great and interesting company. He is not alone.
From within the seared hearts of the descendants of African-American slaves comes a burning desire to return to a time and most definitely a place of idyllic uninterrupted, uncolonized independence and autonomy. Some choose to make the journey over water and land to a generalized state of Africa, a sojourn made popular when then-named Malcolm X went on a trek through several countries on the continent of Africa, changed his name yet again to reflect the spiritual transformations he experienced.
Seen now through the eyes of former San Francisco 49er quarterback and now free agent Colin Kaepernick, this journey, also popularized by the young Jackson-Five brothers in the 1970’s, during the height of their fame, did not begin with this first mass unfettered economic and intellectual generation with enough funds and knowledge to go actually go there in large numbers.
The yearning perhaps never died, as reflected in the re-occurring Back-to-Africa movements, the most recent large one energized by Marcus Garvey’s Twentieth Century UNIA movement, which had nation-wide grassroots participation. The movement spurred at least 12 units in Louisiana even.
In the 1800’s the first Back-to-Africa movement (of historical note) was spearheaded by Paul Cuffee, who repatriated about 60 persons to Sierra Leone. Cuffee once protested to President James Madison when his ship was caught in an international conflict between the United States and England. Cuffee’s ship had recently returned from Sierra Leone and was suspected of violating American embargoes against goods and supplies from the British, then colonizer of that West African country.
During the 20th Century, many waves of African-Americans went to Africa, mostly countries on the West coast, in search of meaning and spiritual solace. Entire communities in various countries, especially Ghana, greet the more recent race-worn souls, such as Kaepernick, whose quests lead them to these locations.
One influential thinker in African-American ideas and philosophies, W. E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folks, expatriated to Ghana and died, auspiciously, at 103 years on the night before the Martin Luther King-led 1963 March on Washington, during which King delivered the “I Have a Dream” Speech.
Even though Dubois did not found the Ghanaian community of African-American intellectuals, who languish in equatorial heat, his presence inspired so many to relocate to that former empire (6th-12th Century CE). Most black intellectuals offer Dubois praise for his influence in their lives and their journeys
Dubois fought maltreatment of blacks, offered methods of black ascension, collected and compiled data, – laying the foundation for establishing the field of social work and astronomically erected lists of other life accomplishments. Yet, the wear and tear on the human psyche that the American racial set of beliefs, practices,
and expectations extracts an exceptional toll on the black mind through eternal vigilance, as it did on Dubois, as it seems to do on Kaepernick.
The vigilance against harmful and not-so-harmful racially molded practices of the United States brand gets heavy sometimes and wears the brightness out of young eyes, looking for acceptance. That exceptional racial brand sparks a certain alertness to manners, innuendos, movements of personnel, gerrymandered friendship circles, and close readings for what is not included in a story or book.
As in the case of Kaepernick’s journey, many travelers outside their native-born United States often comment that when they were in other countries, they felt lighter and freer, that they did not feel any racial prejudice. When traveling to other countries, especially African countries, there is such a relief. Not that racial prejudice ends at the United States borders, but it is less recognizable, less systemic, and in many cases less intense than the US brand.
Kaepernick, according to his tweet, went to Ghana for self-discovery. This Sankofa, return home, is the kind of spiritual quest so many young African Americans went on during different decades of the 20th and early 21st centuries. It is no surprise that these young people feel an awakening that could be part of a larger spiritual change.
As if an epiphany opened his third eye of awareness and his Christian compassion started flowing, Kaepernick donated his famous sneaker collection to San Francisco’s homeless and his custom-made suits to a program that helps people find jobs after being released from jail. Also, he helped raise funds for a plane load of blood and water for Somalia’s struggling population, according to an article by Nate Peterson on CBSSPORTS.com.
From knee-bowing during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner” to choosing to love as he stated in his Fourth of July declaration some people in local villages and African locations, the most remote from the well springs of attention and least powerful people because they matter in the human narrative also. These are the kinds of choices and sacrifices that leaders make, that heroes make.
Kaepernick may not be back on anyone’s football team this upcoming season, but he has chosen a life path that Christ would give a nod, Frederick Douglass would be proud, and one of which Mother Theresa would be inspired.
Left to right Aleeajah Hosey and Abigail Tello-Mettlach are best friends and Jeremiah Kiplagat, a native
of Elboret Kenya. (Photo Credit: Tanuke Smith)
Kevin Gill North Shore Track/ Field and LeCarl Hayes (Photo Credit: Tanuke Smith)
By: Tanuke Smith
Students from across the United States, came together at Duley Field to compete in the 66th Annual Track and Field Relays, held at Texas Southern University. TSU Relays opening ceremonies were performed by various members of the Alumni. Sonja Dawson Franklin, class of 96, lead the National followed by the Negro National Anthem. The Reverend Deacon Timothy D. Bryant of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church lead the stadium in prayer, blessing the athletes as they display their talents for the spectators to see.
Kevin Gill of North Shore High School ran the 2×4 coming in last year winning the nationals with a speed of 102:16 only to close this season relay with a run time of 127:11. Kevin Gill is looking forward to next year’s relays as Kevin’s dream is to become a professional athlete.
LeCarl Hayes Representing the Nigeria Olympic team, came back to the states to train for the relays. Running twice, LeCarl ran the 400 meters at 10 am. and the 400 meters at 4 pm.
“I’ll be a TSU Tiger for the rest of my life,” said LeCarl Hayes. LeCarl is number two in the country in the 200 meters and comes in first in the Olympic trials.
Jermirah Kiplagat, a native of Elboret Kenya, came to the United States to study. Transferring from University of Texas San Marcos, Kiplagat, enrolled at Grambling State University where he is studying economics.
“Track and Field is my second love. Numbers and love belong to one another. You generate numbers in track and field,” Kiplagat said.
Competition is what Kiplatgat signed up for. Jeremiah Kiplagat Grambling State University seeks success. Jermirah is competing with numbers in the 1500 meters of four minutes and six seconds, Jeremiah inspiration does not come from the Olympian Usain Bolt, his inspirations come from within himself.
Gregory- Portland High School located 15 miles north of Corpus Christi, in Portland, Texas. Aleeajah Hosey and Abigail Tello-Mettlach are best friends. This is their third year competing in the women’s 4×1, 4×2 and open, long and triple. Abigail on the right broke her hip in her freshman year in high school.
“My muscles were so strong; my hips were not able to handle the stress that I put on it during the race,” said, Abigail Tello-Mettlsch.
“We are joined at the hip we cannot run without one other.”
Both girls are smiling as Abigail told her story.
With Aleeajah by her side and the assistance of the local Physical Therapist and Chiropractor; Abigail found herself right back on the track at TSU. Both ladies are headed for college and both are inspiring to work in the medical field. For Aleeajah wants to enroll in UT Austin and study Radiation Therapy, and Abigail wants to attend school and become a Chiropractor.