A Powerful Flame That Burned Brightly

Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Rev. C. T. Vivian and award-winning memoirist Harold Michael Harvey often met on the sideway of their subdivision and discussed the major issues of the day. Photo (2013) Cascade Publishing House

I called him “Doc.” He called me “Brother Harvey.” In public, he introduced me as “Michael Harvey, my neighbor.” He wanted his friends and associates to know that he and I were neighbors. As if to say, you may know Michael Harvey, the professional, but I know him as a neighbor. His introductions always brought a smile to the corners of my lips.

Watching Vivian on television maneuver a southern sheriff into an act of violence caused me to want to know more about this man, but he seemed to fade from public view…


Black Parents, They Say Should Shut Up

First pitch of the Black College Baseball World Series game between Bluefield State College and Xavier University, May 1, 2021, at Riverwalk Stadium, Montgomery, Alabama, Photo Cascade Publishing House.

I’ve been writing about Black College baseball for the better part of a decade. As a former HBCU baseball player at Fort Valley State College and Tuskegee Institute in the early 1970s, I have a long history in the sport. I have watched the sport change over the years, and I have, on numerous occasions, documented those changes.

In 1973, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) played the only All-Star game in its history, dating from 1913. The Conference All-Stars played the conference champions, Tuskegee Institute. I was an outfielder on the 1973…


While the Face of Black College Baseball Grows Whiter and Whiter

Bluefield State College on the left and Xavier University on the right paused for the signing of the Negro National Anthem before start of Black College Baseball Championship game May 1, 2021 at Riverwalk Stadium, Photo by Cascade Publishing House.

When I was a high schooler in Macon, Georgia, I dreamed of playing collegiate baseball at Georgia Tech in Atlanta during the early days of school desegregation. In 1969, the year I graduated from the majority white high school that I had integrated four years earlier, there were no Black American baseball players on the Georgia Tech baseball team.

Barely 20 Blacks had sat in a classroom at Georgia Tech. …


Brooklyn Center is another case of trigger happy policing

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

I’ve lived through three encounters with the police that could easily have ended in my death. Each time I see another Black man lose his life to a trigger-happy cop; it brings back that same dread I had on those three occasions.

In the mid-1970s, I was a young reporter covering the city hall beat for a Black-owned weekly tabloid. One day I went home for lunch with a couple of girls who worked in the newsroom. They were curious to know how I prepared a vegetarian hamburger. …


Is $27 million enough to set an example for other police departments?

Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash

Two months after a stunned, pandemic world watched the killing of George Floyd at the corner of 8th Street East and Chicago Avenue, a battery of civil rights attorneys filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the three cops who participated in Floyd’s death. The lawyers’ chief spokesperson is Benjamin Crump. He has built a cottage industry in police misconduct cases following the Trayvon Martin family’s representation nine years ago.

After filing the lawsuit, Crump told reporters that “the tipping point had arrived.” Crump…


New Time Period Suggests Civil Case Settled Too Soon and For Too Little Money

George Floyd’s girl friend testifying on the fourth day of Derek Chauvin murder trial.

Four early take-aways are evident after the first three days of testimony in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

First, there is no doubt that Chauvin used excessive force from the get-go on Memorial Day 2020. After banging on the driver-side door of an SUV driven by Floyd, Chauvin immediately drew his firearm and pointed it at Floyd. The officer’s approach caused Floyd to cringe and beg for his life. He asked Chauvin to not shot him. Floyd never…


Lorenzo “Lo” Ogden Now Playing First Base With the Heavenly Host

Lorenzo Ogden, photo courtesy of Frank Lee

When Lorenzo Ogden stepped on the Tuskegee Institute campus in1968, he was a tall, skinny kid off the sandlots of Birmingham, Alabama. He spent his summer days playing baseball during the week, but on Sundays you could find him at old Rickwood Field watching the Birmingham Black Barons play the best competition in the Negro Leagues.

While watching the games, “Lo” chased down foul balls and returned them to the team’s player-manager Lorenzo “Piper” Davis.

“Lo” was not recruited to play baseball at Tuskegee. History lured him to “The…


HBCU Alumni Proud of National Spotlight

Marie Duval a PWI graduate and Steve Duval an HBCU graduate enjoying the Ralph Garr-Bill Lucas HBCU Baseball Classic, March 14, 2021, Photo Cascade Publishing House

Marie Duval did not attend an HBCU; she received her educational experience at a predominately white institution, Mercer University, a private Baptist-supported school in Macon, Georgia, her hometown. The other half of the Duval family, Steve Duval, attended two HBCUs, Hampton University and Tuskegee University. The Duvals traveled 150 miles to witness a rare national spotlight shine on Black college baseball.

“I am excited to be here, Marie Duval said, then explained, “There are times I wish I had attended an HBCU. “I am rejoicing with my HBCU friends,” Marie Duval said.

“Every time…


Why the Ralph Garr-Bill Lucas HBCU Baseball Classic Matters

Members of Florida A & M University baseball team taking batting practice before the first game of the Garr-Lucas HBCU Baseball Classic, March 12, 2021. Photo: Cascade Publishing House

A faint breeze slightly chilled the night air, the sky tinted ocean blue, and patches of small fluffy clouds lingered in the afterglow of dusk, hinted at the artistry of the Divine.

Down below on a baseball diamond where Triple-A professionals dream of getting a call up to the big league are two historic Black universities, Florida A & M University and Grambling State University. …


Tuskegee University Returns Home Games to Campus

Washington Field at Tuskegee University, Photo Credits Cascade Publishing House

Many of the happiest days of my life are moments spent on a baseball diamond. Mostly sandlots: sometimes cow pastures turned into a ball field for Sunday baseball outings, some with meticulously kept lawns, and some in the oldest minor league ballpark in America, Luther Williams Field, in Macon, Georgia.

At least 365 of those happy days were spent on Washington Field, essentially a sandlot, on Tuskegee University’s campus. In the early 1970s, I patrolled all three outfield positions for the Golden Tigers, ending my collegiate career with a .1000 …

H. Michael Harvey

Harvey is Living Now Book Awards 2020 Bronze Medalist for his memoir Freaknik Lawyer: A Memoir on the Craft of Resistance. Available at haroldmichaelharvey.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store