Black lives, in focus

first_imgAmid the Black Lives Matter movement, as the first African-American president finishes his second term, the inspirational writings of W.E.B. Du Bois resound, as relevant as ever. On Thursday, as eight new recipients of the Du Bois Medal were feted, presenters and honorees alike related the great man’s writing in anecdotes both personal and political.This year’s honorees, who join 22 previous medal recipients, were Ursula M. Burns, chairman and chief executive of Xerox Corp.; David L. Evans, senior admissions officer at Harvard; Pam Grier, actor and activist; Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer, hip-hop artist and activist; David Simon, writer and producer; Jessye Norman, soprano and recitalist; and the 1966 Texas Western Miners men’s basketball team, represented by players David Lattin and Willie Worsley. The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African-American history and culture, and more broadly individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.Ursula M. Burns, the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company, recalled how her mother stressed the importance of education as “not only the way up but the way forward.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerThat the past is present was made clear by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, which presented the awards. Following the uplifting voices of the Kuumba Singers, an opening prayer by the Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, and opening remarks by Glenn H. Hutchins ’77, J.D.-M.B.A. ’83, Gates made the connection both current and specific.After thanking Hutchins and the Hutchins Family Foundation, whose first grant of $15 million made the Hutchins Center possible, for their recent gift of another $10 million to fund the center in perpetuity, he got right to it. “Black Lives Matter is Du Bois’ ‘Talented Tenth’ in jeans and hoodies,” Gates proclaimed in kicking off the event, which would feature readings of works by Du Bois (B.A. 1890, M.A. 1891, and Ph.D. 1895, Harvard’s first to an African-American), interspersed with addresses to and by the honorees. “Black Lives Matter and black studies matter,” Gates said. “The time to act is now.”Professor William Julius Wilson congratulates David Simon as Glenn Hutchins and Hutchins Center Director Henry Louis Gates Jr. look on. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerCornel West, professor emeritus of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary, was up next, honoring Evans by calling him “the best of Harvard.” “Veritas,” West noted, “the condition of truth is always to allow suffering to speak.” But the longtime admissions officer matched West in eloquence, noting the progress people of color have made — and the advances Harvard has been able to make — but warning, “We’ve changed the guard. But changing the guard without guarding the change is movement without maintenance. Don’t let this be the last time all these beautiful things are happening.”Honoring Burns, Michael D. Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, noted not only that she was the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company but also that she led her Change the Equation educational initiative to educate girls and young women in STEM fields. Accepting her medal, Burns elaborated on this theme, recalling how her own mother stressed the importance of education as “not only the way up but the way forward.”“Bring other people along,” she said. “Change the world.”Introducing television writer and producer Simon, William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, related how, after hearing people discuss Simon’s groundbreaking HBO series “The Wire,” he binge-watched the entire first season on a flight to Bangkok. He then designed a course around the show, aware of how with fiction an artist can portray a deeper truth. “David Simon offers us an unflinching portrait of race, class, and poverty in the United States,” he said.Accepting the award, Simon discussed his time as a crime reporter. “You knew you were too reliant on the police to tell you what happened in an alley,” he recalled. “You knew the game was rigged, but what else could you do?” In these days of cellphone cameras, he opined, that might be changing. “We’re experiencing a little bit of a revolution,” he said. “It is painful, but it will end well.”David Lattin (center) from the 1966 Texas Western National Champions Basketball Team receives his award from Glenn Hutchins (left) as former Los Angeles Lakers coach Pat Riley and Henry Louis Gates Jr. join them onstage. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff PhotographerHarvard President and Lincoln Professor of History Drew Faust introduced the award for Norman, who was unable to be present because of health issues. Citing Norman’s previous awards, including an honorary doctorate in 1988 as well as her charitable outreach (including a tuition-free music program in her hometown of Augusta, Ga.), Faust said of the opera singer, “Her status as a diva is global.”The absent diva was represented by a video that featured her speaking — and, perhaps more vitally, singing.Showing the range of the awards — and of African-American artistry — the next honoree was Moorer. Marcyliena Morgan, professor of African and African-American Studies and founder and executive director of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard, announced a “game-changer,” noting her “unmatched contributions to hip-hop and commitment to improving the life of women and girls.”Moorer, the first female rapper Grammy nominee, told of “picking up a mic” at 16, wanting to present an anti-drug message. The Brooklyn native, who released her eighth album in 2015, is founder of the Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, which provides scholarships to college students. “I am a practicing activist looking to change the minds of our youth,” she said. “We all have the chance to be and create the change we want to see.”Grier was the next honoree, and presenter Lawrence D. Bobo, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences and chair of the Department of African and African American Studies, was positively gleeful as he called her “the consummate badass feminist hero, subverting the expectations and creating new ones with her fearlessness, intelligence, and control.”Grier, whose stardom spans films like “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown” in the ’70s through “Jackie Brown” in 1997 and a continuing role in “The L Word,” called the medal “a profound honor.”Describing a family that valued strong women, including a grandfather “who taught all the girls to hunt and fish and be self-sufficient,” she recalled discovering Du Bois growing up in the 1950s and ’60s.“I read W.E.B. Du Bois, and he set my soul on fire,” she said. “He encouraged me to liberate myself. He said: Don’t see yourself through the eyes of others. Be yourself. And that’s what I did.”The final medal was presented by a gracious loser, Pat Riley, president of the NBA’s Miami Heat. In 1966, Riley had been the star of the all-white University of Kansas team that was defeated for the national championship by the little-known Texas Western Miners, which started five black players. The Miners’ win, 12 years after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education to desegregate schools, accelerated the integration of college sports and changed the game forever. The victory by the disciplined, defense-minded team helped desegregate college basketball across the South.After a shoutout to Celtic great Jo Jo White, who was in attendance, Riley reminisced about that game and the grace and strength of the men being honored, who were interviewed at length in a video presentation that stressed their teamwork and their reliance on each other.As Lattin, who was present to accept the award, said in the video. “We were the ‘we’ team, not the ‘I’ team.”SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSavelast_img read more

Pochettino slams Spurs’ desire after Newport scare

first_img0Shares0000Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was unimpressed that his side took so long to rouse themselves against fourth-tier Newport County © AFP / Glyn KIRKNEWPORT, United Kingdom, Jan 28 – Mauricio Pochettino questioned his Tottenham Hotspur players’ appetite for the fight after were nearly knocked out of the FA Cup by fourth-tier Newport County.The Spurs manager was angered by his side’s attitude during their fourth-round tie at Rodney Parade on Saturday where they were indebted to an 82nd-minute goal from Harry Kane that salvaged a 1-1 draw. Pochettino was unimpressed that Spurs took so long to rouse themselves against their fired-up Welsh opponents who deservedly led this match through a 38th-minute goal from Irish striker Padraig Amond.It almost led to Spurs losing their first match since December 16, until England striker Kane’s 30th goal of the season ensured a Wembley replay.“The team didn’t show they wanted to get into the next round, which was disappointing,” said Pochettino.Spurs have won plaudits for the attacking football they have played under their Argentinian manager in recent seasons but the hard fact is that it is 10 years since the north London club, eight-times FA Cup winners, last lifted a major piece of silverware — the League Cup.“It’s easy to say we want win trophies, but we missed a massive opportunity today to show we wanted it,” said Spurs manager Pochettino. “I hope we have learned today that we have to fight to win things.“I heard the FA Cup was magic and today you didn’t see any difference between a team in the Premier League and League Two.”– ‘Missed opportunity’ –The former Southampton boss added: “We need to realise if we want to do something special we can’t miss the opportunity. Why did we have to wait until the end of the game to fight?“If you fight from the beginning of the game you can show your quality.”A year ago, Pochettino was kept in the FA Cup by a 97th-minute goal from Son Heung-Min as Spurs overcame Wycombe Wanderers 4-3 at White Hart Lane.This time he had to introduce the South Korean from the bench, as well as bring on England midfielder Dele Alli, in order to turn the tide.“I am relieved to be going away with a draw, they were superb, full credit to them (Newport),” said Pochettino.“We started to play and grow in the second half, but we are happy we have a replay and to stay in the competition. We cannot use the pitch as an excuse, we need to look at us.”He added: “We were aware about how Newport play, they are very athletic with quality. We couldn’t match this level.“The key was to match them in motivation, style and fight and we lost every challenge in the first half.”– ‘Proud’ –Newport manager Mike Flynn paid tribute to his team, who are a full 72 places behind a Tottenham side that are fifth in the Premier League.“They are a fantastic group of players and they gave me their all,” said Flynn. “I’m gutted for them that Spurs scored so late, but they’ve made me the proudest manager in the country right now.“I could have been selfish and tried to be the hero and gone for it (a win) but I would never jeopardise the finances. We had to get focussed, it was the only mistake we made all day and we got punished for it.“It’s incredible, I’m proud of everything we’ve achieved. I don’t get carried away, but speaking to Mauricio Pochettino was an eye opener, he’s a class act.“If the replay is anything like the second half then I’m not relishing it. But I’ve got every confidence in my players because they’ve been magnificent from day one.“Days like this are huge for clubs like us and keep you ticking over. We turnover £2.2 million a year as a football club, but this (FA Cup) run will give us an excess of £700,000.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Van Dijk beats Cristiano, Messi to UEFA top award

first_imgFull-back Bronze won the Women’s Champions League title with Lyon before helping England reach the women’s World Cup semi-finals.-More to follow0Shares0000(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Prize guy – Liverpool defender Virgil van DijkMONACO, Principality of Monaco, Aug 29 – Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award on Thursday, edging out Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Lucy Bronze took the women’s prize.Dutchman Van Dijk starred as Liverpool won their sixth European Cup last season with a 2-0 Champions League final victory over Tottenham in Madrid.last_img

Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes planned investment of €178m investment in the Irish Language and Gaeltacht areas

first_imgConradh na Gaeilge has welcomed Government promises made to invest in the Irish language and Gaeltacht areas in the National Planning Framework.Significant investment promises have been made to support Gaeltacht Service Towns, Irish Language Networks around the country, that additional support will be provided for children and childcare in Gaeltacht areas, and that Údarás na Gaeltachta’s budget to create employment will be raised from €7m to €12 million.This €12 million investment will create in the region of 1,000 jobs annually, to counteract unemployment and the depopulation of Gaeltacht areas. Also included in plans approved by Minister Joe McHugh is the development of an Irish language and cultural centre in Dublin city, something which is not available yet to the thriving community of Irish speakers in the capital. Gaeltacht service towns like Letterkenny will also get cultural centres.Dr Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge: “It is a cause for hope that the Government understands the importance of assisting the support, protection and development of the Irish language, and especially the Gaeltacht, for example, the support for childcare.“The plans to develop Irish Language Centres in Gaeltacht Service Towns and Irish Language Networks are also to be commended. These are suggestions that were made in an investment plan supported by 90 Irish language and Gaeltacht organisations, who deserve credit for the campaigning and hard work they have done to date. Conradh na Gaeilge are looking forward to receiving clarification regarding the timeline over which these plans will be implemented, and we look forward to playing our role alongside the Government to put these plans in place in the near future.”Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge: “To increase Údarás na Gaeltachta’s budget for the creation of employment to €12 million is a suggestion that has been made and supported by 90 Irish language and Gaeltacht organisations, and politicians over the past number of years. “Credit is due to these groups for their campaigning and hard work to date, to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and to the Government overall for listening to these requests. We will, however, be expecting a tangible timeline for this increased budget to create employment in the Gaeltacht.” Conradh na Gaeilge welcomes planned investment of €178m investment in the Irish Language and Gaeltacht areas was last modified: February 16th, 2018 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more