LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING/THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS

The Jingle Bell season in America most of the living to reflect on the previous year and think seriously about God’s blessings. I could share numerous blessings, but I will share one that many of our sports fans might find incredible. That blessing I wish to share with your supporters and fans of our local NBA basketball team – The Washington Wizards, once known as Washington Bullets.

Since I am an evolutionary elder, another name for senior citizens, likes strong nouns and adjectives, I will rename or describe in common terms why the Wizards owned by Monumental Sports and Entertainment blessed me 2017-2018.

The team is a trendsetter, a person or thing that establishes a new trend or fashion. It is that because it did something I personally requested- the playing of the Negro National anthem-"Lift Every Voice and Sing" created by a man who was a trendsetter in 1900, James Weldon Johnson, that great Black author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, and civil rights leader. After hearing the Kim Weston’s version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing", one quiet, pensive evening with the voice Activated Alexa (Amazon.com,) I was spiritually moved to telephone the Wizards requesting management to play/sing our cherished and respected anthem at a game during the month of February – Black History Month.

Thinking of all the Afro-American great players like John Wall, LeBron James, about whom I had penned a children’s book, I was compelled to get my winning, home team to honor my simplistic, humble request. Well, this forward thinking team responded that on February 28, 2018, our anthem would be played the night the Wizards played the Champions, The Golden State Warriors. Our team lost, but the Nation’s capitol and the nation won big-time. This trendsetting, audacious team defied the action of so many NBA teams. Now it serves as a role model, a leader for other NBA Teams. This honorable, courageous act gives leverage to bargain with team owners now contractually requiring its players to stand when our national anthem is played or sung. We all know the controversy around kneeling.

In discussing this blessing with friends, family, television and newspaper reporters. I get a "thumb-up" and applause for my thought and the action of our team. Having attended only one Wizards game in my 77 years on this earth with my wife at my side and Chanel 9 reporter and an associated press photographer gave me great delight and pleasure to experience a team’s action for what is right, honorable and just.

As I mull over this blessing, I give credit to God Almighty for giving me the thought to contact a team’s action that will remain indelibly in the history of the team and that of the National Basketball Association. I pray that as I begin my campaign getting other teams to sing/play during pre- game activities during Black history Month. Performing this act cost s no money, only the gumption to do what is right – what our trendsetter has done. I admonish those who want to know specifics about my blessing to Google the following:

Recall and Count your blessings during the Jingle Bell season of thanking God and giving.