Are you still wiping the tears from your eyes? I am, and so are tens of millions sobbing for a man who defined a generation.
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said that there will be no more great performances. We have just witnessed a magnificent performance that now belongs to the ages. His competitors on the hardwood labeled him the “Black Mamba” because he would finish an opponent. His game was total, long range, mid-range and short range with equal mastery. He entered the NBA as a teenager and he quickly honed his talent to an elite level. He wrote the book on how to go from good to great.
Do we measure Kobe on five NBA championships and MVP status? Do we measure Kobe on his creative genius in the motion picture studio? Do we marvel because of the Oscar that he received from his animated masterwork? Or do we measure him on the smile that could slay a child in buttermilk bottom or an adult in the suites or streets?
Horace Mann said that all of us should be afraid to die until we have won some victory for humanity. Kobe will approach the bar and account for how he spent his time and how the world is improved by his performance. The curtain came down in a crushing manner, but none of us know the day nor hour we are called home. None of us know the circumstances of how we will become a shooting star.
Kobe perished with his 13-year-old daughter while traveling to a basketball event. His greatest performance will be measured by the contributions that he made to his family and, secondly, his community. After a youthful misstep, he focused his eye on the prize and recreated himself. He built a new Kobe Bryant. When Kobe harnessed his passion and disciplined himself, he inspired greatness to return to his team, the Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, he was already good, but good is the enemy of the great.
Collins explains in his book that some organizations make the leap from good to great. Building a team around Kobe meant that management had to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off and the right people in the right seats. Greatness married hard work and a winner was produced.
Kobe embraced the responsibility of helping those in need. He made generous contributions to the Make a Wish Foundation and tasked himself to help provide supportive housing to homeless kids. He epitomized the phrase, “make money, but don’t let money make you.”
On the granite wall at the Smithsonian National African American History Museum is a plaque with a list of contributors. Prominent is the name of Kobe Bryant who donated $1 million or more. He donated without fanfare or braggadocio. Think of all the people that he has silently helped.
You can’t help but love this man. Kobe, keep smiling from above. If you had been a shoeshine boy, your smile would have made you rich and successful.
Love him because he fought for girls and equality in sports. Love him for his composure and dignity. Love him for having a yardstick of trying not to do things that stole dignity from himself, his family and community. Love him for an overcoming spirit, owning his shortcomings and propelling through real and imaginary monsters. Love him for making a muse dance inside your heart and head when he smiled. Love him for thinking and living on his feet, rather than on his knees. Love him for resisting the influences that would have him wear an ankle monitor. Love him for being a daddy and husband. Love his father, Jellybean Joe Bryant, for cultivating his gifts
Kobe won a victory for humanity. There is no shame in his game. We are better and the world is better because one solitary man rode into hell and snatched victory from the foul jaws of defeat. We are better due to a silky-smooth brother becoming a role model that was not incarcerated, not unemployed, not poor. We love him for his sweet inspiration.
Kobe says to all the young black brothers and sisters, you have a shot to make it in life and in America. All you have to do is believe, prepare and work your behind off.
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.