A Skeeter Experience

For decades, golf has been known to be one common sport that lacks diversity all over the world. A recent study shows that 1-18% of golfers are Black, and a little under 30% are women. Of course, that did not stop minorities from participating in the sport. When a Westfield Country Club was bought by a group of black investors in 1921, the first ever Black country club came to light, Shady Rest Golf and Country Club. Not long after, in 1937 the first all-women’s Black country club was formed, Wake Robin. Even famous boxer Joe Lewis fought for golf diversity all the way up until he died in 1981. To this day, Black country clubs are still being created and running just as smoothly as they have been for decades. Track on the other hand, is a sport that supports diversity globally, yet only about 3% of American runners are Black.

I recently spoke with my uncle, Lawson Smart, about his experiences being a track runner in high school and college. He started playing recreational golf in his early 20s as an outlet as he no longer wanted to play basketball or football at that age. “Golfing was something to do with the coworkers. I was 21 or 22. It was something I took up when I was young,” Smart said. “Golf, or any type of physical activity you need to start early.” To him, sports like golf and tennis are great forms of physical activity where you are less prone to injuries which he recommends to anyone. Smart would compete in golf tournaments and often win. The more he won, the more he considered playing professional golf, which he started when he hit his 50s.

However, golf didn’t hold a spot in his heart like hurdles did. He was widely known as Skeeter because of his incredibly hasty feet on the track. Going to high school at Booker T. Washington, Smart competed in various track competitions and set records. Despite how much his team celebrated winning and congratulated him on his performance, he was never one to participate in the hype. “When I got in college, and we would win, I would never celebrate with my teammates,” Smart said. “If four of us ran, three of us would hop up and down. The only thing I would do is take my shoes off.” After a race, Smart never knew who placed second or third because he never looked back. “I did my job.”

Even though he knew he was one of the best, he was never full of himself. He would never discriminate against other players who were not as good as he was, but he would be hard on them and push them to do better. He often played the role of a leader, yet other teammates didn’t like him for it. They would judge and talk about him negatively. What they didn’t know was that Smart was bottling up his emotions inside from his life at home.

With split parents and monitoring one unstable sibling, he felt irritated inside, which is where he developed his leader mentality. “I was the boss around the house when my daddy left,” Smart said. “So, I was the captain in junior high school, the captain in high school, and I was the captain in college. So I was mad. I was really mad.” Jumping hurdles on the track was one of the only things that relieved him. Soon into his college career, he received a scholarship to Texas Southern University but was more than proud to run for Morgan State University. Since then, Smart has continued to play golf and has learned to enjoy the little things in life. “I would have my coffee and look outside at the trees and what they have going on over here,” he stated, “and that’s all I need.” Smart shared with me photo books of all of his track milestones in high school and college, tens, and tens of newspaper headlines of his name, and a tray of bronze, silver, and gold medals.

Smart’s message for young athletes is to never pick a sport for its salary. Ensure that you have a passion for it, and the mental and emotional stability to get through the challenges along the way. Smart believes that athletes shall never overestimate their abilities as it will lead them to what he says is the biggest drawback, failure. “Most of the time a person will feel pretty good about himself, but sometimes he’ll overestimate himself,” Smart stated. “That’s where the problem comes in. When you think you’re better than what you are.”

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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