NBA MVP Stephen Curry Named AP Male Athlete of Year

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Currys greatness as a basketball player can be measured by his record-setting shooting numbers that are changing the game.  His immense popularity derives from something less tangible.

While many NBA greats rely on uncommon height and athletic ability that average fans can only dream of having, Curry’s game relies on the skills that every casual player can work on: shooting, dribbling and passing.

The difference is, perhaps nobody ever has put those three skills together the same way Curry has in the past year, as he has dominated on the court and made the once-downtrodden Golden State Warriors the NBA’s must-watch team.

“The way that I play has a lot of skill but is stuff that if you go to the YMCA or rec leagues or church leagues around the country, everybody wants to shoot, everybody wants to handle the ball, make creative passes and stuff like that,” he said. “You can work on that stuff. Not everybody has the vertical or the physical gifts to be able to go out and do a windmill dunk and stuff like that. I can’t even do it.”

That’s about all Curry is unable to do on the basketball court. His amazing year, in which he won an MVP, led Golden State to its first title in 40 years and helped the Warriors get off to a record-setting start this season earned him The Associated Press 2015 Male Athlete of the Year.

Curry finished first in a vote by U.S. editors and news directors, with the results released Saturday. He joined LeBron JamesMichael Jordan and Larry Bird as the only basketball players to win the honor in the 85 years of the award. Curry beat out golfer Jordan Spieth, who won two majors, and American Pharoah, who became the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown.

While American Pharoah got three more first-place votes than Curry’s 24, Curry appeared on 86 percent of the 82 ballots that ranked the top five candidates. More than one-third of the voters left American Pharoah off their list.

“That’s a real honor,” Curry said. “I’m appreciative of that acknowledgement because it’s across all different sports. … It’s pretty cool.”

Continue reading “NBA MVP Stephen Curry Named AP Male Athlete of Year”

HBCU Young Alumni Seek to Break Stereotypes as ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ Photo Goes Viral

Nyerere Davidson never imagined that a gathering with friends from around the country would produce an iconic photo representing the future of historically black colleges and universities, but the 2008 Florida A&M University graduate couldn’t be happier about it.

“I just thought it would be a nice illustration to counteract the stereotypes about young black people,” says Davidson, a Milwaukee native and recent transplant to Washington D.C. who organized the shoot as a commemorative moment for his birthday celebration last month in the District.

“This is a range of different people from different parts of the country, different shades, different looks and different styles representing what black excellence looks like. And all of us are from HBCUs.”

Davidson is a marketing executive with the YMCA’s national headquarters, and promotes the organization’s Healthy Living/Healthy Communities initiative. A former volunteer with the YMCA’s community-based Black Achievers program in Milwaukee, he says that imagery is a powerful part of connecting with black youth and showing real possibilities in education and professional life.

“With everything going on at Mizzou, and in cities throughout the country, I think this shows young black people in a totally different way,” he said. “We’re all professionals – doctors, fashion designers, corporate executives – but we’re young and we embrace our responsibility to our communities and what our image means to the outside world.”

“Today we live in a world where there is so much attention devoted to the distorted portrayals of African Americans specifically black males,” says Jacob Waites, a 2010 Cheyney University graduate who was among the attendees featured in the photo. “A society where one image can have a huge impact on perception. This is why it’s imperative that images such as the one from Nye’s 30th birthday brunch is so essential. It’s time to dispel the exaggerated views of African Americans and give the world a real-world experience.”

Friends with alumni ties to FAMU, Claflin, Howard, Morgan State, Alcorn State, Tennessee State, Morehouse and Cheyney are represented in the image.  Many say they are proud of their HBCU experience and aware of the role that scenes like this play in promoting similar experiences for future HBCU students.

“Being a part of this photo was iconic for me– when we came together, W.E.B. Dubois ‘Talented Tenth’ essay came to mind,” says Kimberly Guy, a 2002 Tennessee State alumna.  “He asserted, ‘The Talented Tenth of African Americans must be made leaders of thought and missionaries of culture among their people….Negro Colleges must train men [and women] for it.'”

“In an era of social media with its sometimes derogatory and stereotypical portrayals of African Americans, I feel this photo captures the essence of the Talented Tenth. As a proud HBCU alum, this pic represents collectively all professional black in society that are proudly commited to carrying on the legacy established by our forebears while exceeding society expectations for our race. We are leaders, we are pillars of the community, and we are ‘regular folk’. But most importantly we are young, gifted, and Black.”

article via hbcudigest.com


Collector Russell L. Goings Prepares To Disperse Rarely-Seen Romare Bearden Trove

At first glance the modest living room with parquet floor and track lighting resembles any space with an indifferent housekeeper: papers abound, stacks of paintings lean against walls, an indistinct jumble of items swallows a small table. But then Russell L. Goings starts pulling out what he calls his “stuff,” and his home improbably transforms into a personal art gallery, one brimming with his extensive collection of work by Romare Bearden, the 20th-century artist best known for his soulful collages of African-American life. Bearden also happened to be Mr. Goings’s longtime close friend. Continue reading “Collector Russell L. Goings Prepares To Disperse Rarely-Seen Romare Bearden Trove”

Y.M.C.A. Adopts Michelle Obama’s Recommended Health Policies for Youth

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Michelle Obama, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a Y.M.C.A. event last year, has worked with the Y to develop health standards for its youth programs.


WASHINGTON — The Y.M.C.A., one of the nation’s largest child-care providers, intends to announce Wednesday that it is adopting new “healthy living standards,” including offering fruits, vegetables and water at snack time, increasing the amount of exercise and limiting video games and television for youngsters in its programs.  The guidelines grow out of discussions the Y has been having with Michelle Obama, the first lady, and thePartnership for a Healthier America, a year-old nonprofit group dedicated to supporting Mrs. Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity. The first lady will join Y officials for the announcement.

Roughly 700,000 youngsters are enrolled in early childhood, after-school and summer programs at 10,000 Y chapters around the country, and the organization has a broad reach into the lives of American families. Independent experts and White House officials say they hope the Y’s move will serve as a model for other day-care providers.

“The difference between kids getting a sugary beverage and an unhealthy snack versus water and an apple can change a kid’s life, if that’s what they are eating day in and day out after school,” said Sam Kass, Mrs. Obama’s top food policy adviser. “The Y sets a standard.”

The standards, however, will be voluntary; Neil Nicoll, president and chief executive of the Y.M.C.A. of the U.S.A., said the national organization could not impose them on chapters. But Mr. Nicoll said that they had been developed in consultation with Y leaders around the country, and that he expected 85 percent of chapters to comply.

“We don’t anticipate a lot of pushback,” he said. “We find that once kids get into healthy habits of eating carrots instead of cookies and being physically active instead of sitting in front of the screen, they go with the flow pretty easily.”

Specifically, the Y is urging its chapters to serve fruits and vegetables at each meal, and to offer water instead of juice. For young children, the guidelines call for 15 minutes of exercise per hour, no more than 60 minutes per day of screen time for 2- to 5-year-olds, and no screen time for children under 2. Older children would have 60 minutes a day of physical activity, and no access to television or movies. Digital devices would be used only for homework or programs that promote physical activity.

Mr. Nicoll estimates the changes will cost 50 cents per child per day; he said the Y was working with food vendors to help chapters buy discounted fruits and vegetables. It has also pledged an independent evaluation of the program’s effectiveness.

“The early childhood and youth development fields need more evidence of what works to prevent and treat obesity in children and adults,” said Carol Emig, president of Child Trends, a research organization not affiliated with the Y. “Hopefully, the Y experience will produce such evidence.”

The Y is the latest in a string of companies and organizations, including Wal-Mart and Walgreens, to sign onto Mrs. Obama’s initiative. This year, Bright Horizons, a company that provides day care to about 70,000 children, agreed to standards similar to those adopted by the Y.

The Partnership for a Healthier America, financed by philanthropies like the Kaiser Permanente and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundations, was founded to work with the private sector, and to ensure that Mrs. Obama’s initiative continues beyond her White House tenure. The Y will unveil its program at the partnership’s first conference; Mrs. Obama will be the keynote speaker.

“One in three kids are overweight or obese,” said Lawrence A. Soler, the partnership’s chief executive. “We are not going to be able to solve this problem in one or two presidential administrations.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: November 30, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the source of funding for the Partnership for a Healthier America. It was financed in part by the Kaiser Permanente Foundation, not Kaiser Permanente.