By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Happy Anniversary 9 Long Years Ago…
9 LONG YEARS AGO …
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 1939
OOOPS have you ever missed an anniversary Technically we just did Black Athlete Sports Network was born on 3/4/99 Now one of the two Founders is writing “today’s” Box on March 4th but it isn’t being published until March 5th. Anyway better than completely forgetting. Know we will not forget next year the TENTH anniversary of the founding of BASN.
Now let us recall once once again The Beginning. Roland Rogers and this writer in the midst of a phone conversation about other matters came up with the Brilliant Idea at the height of the first Internet Frenzy that there was a place on-line for the African American perspective on Sports. And as they spoke they went on-line and registered the domain name blackathlete.com. And that is how it all Began.
So where are we 9 years later still struggling but on the Cusp of Greatness What become crystal clear to us is that even while thousands maybe tens of thousands of other Internet based businesses have been funded over the last 9 years with one form of venture money or another 99%+ are NOT African American businesses. Making it worse for us BASN is not only owned and controlled by African Americans it is largely about African Americans. Not the best formula for success in America.
Not for any good or logical reason mind you except we are dealing with the mindset of Capital. YES of course IF very prominent Black Americans like Colin Powell or Vernon Jordan were equity owners in BASN the venture capitalists would be falling over themselves to invest. But that kind of pedigree is NOT necessary for the thousands of White start-ups that have been funded to the tune of Billions collectively.
Now that we’ve given you the Bad News Here is the far more IMPORTANT news. BASN has not only survived these 9 years but it is now poised for “greatness.” Because the environment is now catching up to our Vision of the future of Sports here in the Age of the Developing Internet. Since we have explained exactly what that means repeatedly in prior Boxes we won’t do that again.
Rather we will do for you what we do so well for you here in the Box which no one else in the Sports media does let alone well. WEAVE lots of interesting side material into these Boxes that key off the main theme and make these Boxes little worlds in themselves and fascinating theatre for your mind not simply a recitation of facts about Sports.
Take a look at the book pictured above published just under 70 years ago ” The Negro In Sports.” Try buying a copy today. Minimum of $600. More likely pay $1000 for a high quality copy. What is the point. This was the FIRST book ever published about Black athletes in America ……
….. even though African Americans had been defining Sports in America even from the time of Slavery. Today of course there are thousands upon thousands of books featuring African American athletes past and present. TIMES CHANGE ….. and they don’t.
That is the Point While “Negroes in Sports” was groundbreaking for its originality and while the publishing industry’s attitude toward Black athletes has changed DRAMATICALLY in fact African American athletes are in many ways in the same condition as in 1939 UNDER-appreciated by America and more to the Point still battling discrimination and stereotyping and largely excluded from much of the multi-billion dollar Sports industry and completely excluded from ALL of the Power off the Playing Fields.
And that is WHY the convergence of the Internet which begot BASN portends such Powerful Change FINALLY the African American Sports experience in all its Glory and detail unencumbered by CHAINS that have kept it all “neatly” compartmentalized by White Media Establishments get ready for CHANGE it is Here to and from Black Athlete Sports NETWORK of the Future POSTSCRIPT The other thing we did above is drop you a HINT if you want to get us an ANNIVERSARY gift a mint condition of ” The Negro in Sports ” will be an excellent choice. If you want to settle for an anniversary message please direct it to Roland Rogers at ….
WE ALMOST FORGOT