It’s been quite a month…and what a wild emotional and draining ride it has been. On one hand our hearts were broken by what occurred in Ferguson, MO. Another shooting of an unarmed young black man at the hand of a policeman, protests, looting, riot gear being worn, tear gas being used, arrests, rifles pointed at protesters, setting of curfews, civic disobedience, and military equipment. And it was hard not to notice that this was happening in America and not in some other part of the world… all the while the nation and the world took notice… and our reactions became difficult to describe or to believe.
However, on another hand our hearts began to rejoice with the news coming from the Little League World Series held in Williamsport, PA. On this national and world stage, a 13-year-old young black girl from Philadelphia, Mo’Ne Davis made history by being the first girl to win a game as a pitcher in the Little League World Series. In fact, her debut was a shutout as she was throwing the “heat” at 70 mph. She was amazing, poised and truly a team player. The other great story was the Jackie Robinson West baseball team from Chicago. They won the national title in dramatic fashion on a double play to end the game against the team from Nevada, a team they had lost to earlier in the week. These were truly proud moments for them, their families and for the city of Chicago. Kids doing what they should be doing, having fun and playing a game.
The accomplishments of these little leaguers playing “America’s Pastime” game became an inspiring story to follow. This was a great story to watch unfold, to see that young black youth can achieve on a playing field as long as it is level. If fact, our black youth can achieve when they are given a chance to succeed in the classroom, community, sports, career and life itself. Their story has caused others to take another look at restarting youth leagues in other major urban cities again.
All urban communities are rich with many stories of young black youth doing the right things day in and day out. They are going to school, volunteering, attending church, playing sports, making good grades, respectful of their elders and becoming good citizens. But I am afraid that most of those stories are never told. In so many ways, what the 2014 Little League World Series did for us was to believe again in the “American Dream” and that good things are always possible if we look and work hard for them. What do you think?
Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at email@example.com, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee.