The Brothers Lehman Sports Happy Hour – This Ain’t Nothing But Blue Chips

Chris & Jonathan discuss Week 4 in the NFL, Russell Westbrook signs extension with the Thunder, NBA implements new changes, LaVar Ball to home school and peronally train his son LaMelo, FBI finds corruption in college basketball and more.

Music: Oh No – Come Back

Please leave your thoughts below. You can also reach out via: Twitter – @BrothersLehman; Email –; Voicemail – (323) 455-4219.

The Brothers Lehman Sports Happy Hour – A Starting Spot Plus Ten Million

Chris & Jonathan discuss Jay Cutler back as a starter, latest injuries and signings, owners and front offices getting emotional, third time should be the charm for Terrell Owens, CTE findings, Jordan on Kobe and LaVar Ball, Kyrie Irving making things more difficult for Cavs, Terrell Davis was dominant, its not about football with Colin Kaepernick and more.

Please leave your thoughts below. You can also reach out via: Twitter – @BrothersLehman; Email –;  Voicemail – (323) 455-4219.

The Brothers Lehman Sports Happy Hour – Back For the Second Round

Jonathan is back as the brothers look at the semifinal round of the NBA Playoffs, discuss the teams that lost in the first round, the NFL Draft, ESPN layoffs, Aaron Hernandez committing suicide, LaVar Ball turning off big shoes companies and more.

Music: Baauer – Dum Dum

Please leave your thoughts below. You can also reach out via: Email –; Twitter – @BrothersLehman; Voicemail – (323) 455-4219.

LA EVENTS: Fraternity NOW SHOWING at Ebony Repertory Theatre

Three weeks after Dr. King’s seminal I Have A Dream speech,a bomb destroyed an Alabama church, murdering four young girls and
shattering the dream that had inspired so many.

Set in a private club in 1987, Jeff Stetson’s Fraternity explores the journeys of seven successful black community leaders whose lives were forever affected by that tragedy. It examines what happens to those who seek power, privilege and inclusion, while abandoning the sacrifices that made their success possible.

Movers & Shakers: Aisha Taylor

Listen in as KC chats with Aisha Taylor of TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting. TAYLORmade was started by Aisha and her sister, Ayana Taylor Green, after realizing their skill set in helping family and friends strengthen cover letters and resumes while applying for jobs. Now these “sister-preneurs” have turned their passion into a profitable business – and one that many people don’t realize exists. Tune in as Aisha shares with KC what it means to be a professional career consultant, how her business started, the doors that have opened for her because of her career, and why it’s important for professionals to invest in career consulting.

The Tragic Death of Boxing

What happened to the sport of boxing? It used to be that the heavyweight champion of the world was as respected as the president of the United States. Now nobody knows who the heavyweight champion is. Furthermore boxing, as much or more so than any other sport, played a great role in the culture and the advancement of black America. We produced many of the greats in the history of the sport, including most of the top heavyweight champions of all time. Now there is not only not a single African-American ranked in Ring magazine’s top ten heavyweights there’s almost not any American’s on that list period. Where have you gone, Jack Johnson? What happened to the glory that was Joe Louis? Where are the Sugar Ray Robinsons, the Sugar Ray Leonards, the Marvin Haglers, and the many gifted fighters who used to embody the power and the courage of black athleticism (not to mention Rocky Marciano, Jack Dempsey, Jerry Quarry and the many great Irish, Italian and other ethnic minority fighters who fought these fighters and were a part of the great community of boxing)? Black America used to produce fighters that regularly dominated what was from the turn of the century to even the 1980’s  the nation’s most iconic sport. Some fighters whom our people produced were so great that they transcended the world of boxing and sports generally. Jack Johnson was a figure of tremendous social and historical significance (not to mention controversy). Joe Louis, the longest reigning (and some still say the greatest, though no heavyweight beats Ali in my book) heavyweight of all time arose in the 30’s in his two fights against German great Max Schmeling as not just the physical embodiment of American and western democracy’s existential stand against Nazi fascism, but in a broader sense as a living rebuke to the evil doctrine of Anglo superiority espoused in Germany (as well as to the only comparatively more innocuous racism that persisted in the United States).  Many black boxers have filled the ranks of boxing through the decades at almost every weight class; many champions and great contenders left names and legacies of courage and character that still persist in the memories of many. Then of course, as said, there were those whose fame went beyond boxing to capture the imagination of the world and to inspire the country. Of these of course, the greatest was Muhammad Ali, and it is perhaps the greatest sadness about the decline of boxing that we may never see such a champion again.

Muhammad Ali was, in my opinion, the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time, period, bar none, over Louis, Johnson, Marciano, Tyson and anyone else you could name. In his prime he had faster hands and feet than anyone ever had over two-hundred pounds. But it was his courage that was truly legendary. Nobody who saw his fights with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman could deny that Ali’s spirit was indomitable (and keep in mind that in each of those fights Ali was actually already past his prime; only Cassius Clay could out move Muhammad Ali). Nevertheless, boxing was merely a spring board for Ali’s greatness as a personality and as a figure of great social and political significance during a critical period in America’s history. Ali made the idea of a “world” champion mean something. He was the first champion to fight in countries on every continent, from England to Venezuela to Zaire to the Philippines. And while it’s true that athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have approached near enough to the zenith of world fame to be roughly comparable to Ali in that way, remember that Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods came along in  the information age, the age of globalization. Their brands were based on their singular appeal as charismatic athletes and the unique commercial circumstance that allowed for shoes, clothes, video games and merchandise of all kinds to be branded with their names and images. But Ali’s fame was not carried in this way. Ali was known for his fighting, and so too was he loved and hated for his wit, his clever poems and his indisputable gift for self-promotion. But Muhammad Ali was loved and, even among those who disliked him, respected, for the courage he showed outside of the ring. In refusing to be drafted into the Vietnam war, (even though as a celebrity athlete he would not have seen combat) Ali brought the anger of the political establishment down on his head, and was stripped of his heavyweight title and exiled from boxing during what would have been the prime years of his career. Yet he represented the feelings of many people generally, crystallizing the objection of many blacks in particular when he gave reasoning, saying at one point: “No VietCong ever called me nigger.”

It was this stance that Ali took which set the stage for the real significance of the first Ali-Frazier fight, significance that went far beyond boxing. Hence the interest in the fight went beyond peoples interest in boxing or even sports generally, and spilled into the lives of people from all walks of life from around the world. Indeed, it is estimated that the first Ali-Frazier fight was the most watched and listened to event in all of human history. Even the Protestants and Catholics in Ireland stopped battling each other in the streets for a day, just to be able to watch the fight. The world stood still that day, and though he lost to the great and recently passed Joe Frazier, his epic career from that day forward solidified his standing at the top of the list of the great figures on the planet. I for one believe that only as a boxer could Ali have attained to this stature, this level of admiration as an athlete. There is an honor, an individualism, and a universal acknowledgement of the mortality of man that makes boxing compelling and allows it forge heroes in away that perhaps no other sport can.

Unfortunately that is gone today. For a variety of reasons boxing has ceased to be great. There are still some decent fighters, but big money lack of organization, corruption, the dominance of  pay-per-view and some other factors has diminished boxing to the level of a side-show. Floyd Mayweather is a very good fighter, but his stature beyond the sport doesn’t attain to anywhere near the level of a Sugar Ray Leonard, much less Muhammad Ali. Furthermore, the classlessness that Mayweather (and Roy Jones before him) often exhibits in talking about his opponents (not even mentioning his alleged personal behavior) puts him far out of the tradition of Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard and the many great fighters who came out of the black community who would never stoop to such vulgarities. There is one real star left in boxing today and that is Manny Pacquiao. If and when he ever fights (and probably loses to) Mayweather there will be no more great stars in boxing, no more fights left to command the attention of the world, and no more hope to see the likes of the great figures in boxing that came out of the black community in the past (I can’t count Floyd as a great figure. Sorry.). And in any event, it takes more than one man. Ali would not have been Ali without Frazier, Foreman and Norton, just as Leonard wouldn’t have been who he was without Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran. Unless something changes, it looks like we’ll be stuck with the comparative dullness of UFC and mixed martial arts as the main pugilistic outlets for the world of American and black American sports for a long time to come. For me at least, that is a sad reality.

Don’t Retire Without Your Spouse

Is retirement a boom or bust proposition for African American baby boomers?

As the 78 million boomers-over 9 million of them black–continue to make a gradual, but highly visible exit from the workforce, data show that pre-retirement factors, such as income and planning, are key determinants of how well off they will remain financially in their later years.

Also, something to consider is you may plan to retire to Florida when you’re 67, but there’s a good chance your spouse has other ideas, according to a new survey that asked married couples about their retirement plans.

Almost two-thirds of couples don’t agree on the age at which they’ll retire, and one-third of couples disagree or don’t know where they’ll live once they retire, according to a survey of 648 married couples (a total of 1,296 people), forty-seven percent of couples don’t agree on whether they’ll work in retirement.  Another survey of people aged 46 to 75 with household income of at least $75,000 or invest-able assets of $100,000 or more and 196 already were retired. Seventy-three percent of the couples surveyed disagreed on whether they have completed a retirement-income plan, and more than half of the couples surveyed disagreed on what their top source of retirement income would be. The main income sources cited by pre-retirees included workplace retirement plans, pensions and Social Security, while the retirees pointed to pensions, Social Security and brokerage accounts. The good news is that a higher portion of couples agree on their retirement-income sources now than before: In 2009, 62% of couples did not agree on their top source of retirement income, versus 55% in present day.

Honey, We Have a Financial Adviser

Given the relative lack of coordinated planning among many of the couples surveyed, it’s somewhat surprising that fully 58% of the couples said they work with a financial adviser. However, a majority of those couples said only one spouse — usually the husband — works with their finance professional. That may help to explain some of the disparate ideas husbands and wives have about their retirement plans.

Thirty-five percent of the couples said they both meet with their investment professional, while 36% said the husband has primary contact with their finance expert, 12% said the wife had primary contact, and 17% disagree about who meets with that person.

Wives Less Confident

Overall, the women surveyed described themselves as less knowledgeable than the men did about financing retirement. They also said they were more wary about taking on risk when investing.

Only 35% of the wives said they could take on full responsibility for the couple’s retirement finances if needed, versus 72% of the husbands.

While 20% of the husbands described themselves as “investors,” just 5% of the wives did. Instead, they tended to say they were savers or spenders.

Thirty-seven percent of the husbands said they make most of their household’s financial decisions related to retirement. Just 8% of wives said they were the primary decision-maker.

Twenty-one percent of the wives surveyed said they are willing to accept lower returns in exchange for preserving wealth, compared to 16% of the husbands who said that.

Retirees Are Happier Than Expected

Sixty-nine percent of the retirees surveyed said their lifestyle is comfortable — and 22% of the retirees surveyed said their retirement lifestyle is better than they thought it would be.

But just 54% of the pre-retirees surveyed said they expect to live comfortably in retirement.

Of the retired couples surveyed, the husband said he retired at age 59, on average, and the wife at age 58. For couples who had not yet retired, their expected retirement age was much later, on average: age 64 for the husband, and age 63 for the wife.

The top three retirement worries for pre-retirees are steep health-care costs, inflation and cuts to Social Security benefits. All told, 59% of couples agreed that they’re worried about unexpected major health-care expenses.

When asked what they would advise young couples today, the survey respondents’ top three recommendations were: Make all financial decisions together, create a budget and


Jalen Rose: The Real “Uncle Tom”?

By now, many of us have heard something about the Michigan University Fab Five documentary that appeared on ESPN earlier this month. In it, Jalen Rose expressed his discontent for Duke University and one Grant Hill while a freshman at Michigan.  He called Hill an “Uncle Tom” due to Hill’s upbringing.

Jalen Rose was young and uninformed. This explains why he ripped the Duke basketball program for recruiting, in his words, “Uncle Toms.” This is not an unforgivable offense.

But some corrections are in order.

The original Uncle Tom sprung from the fertile mind of author Harriet Beecher Stowe. He was a slave who was beaten to death because he wouldn’t betray the whereabouts of his fellow runaway slaves. The original Uncle Tom would rather die than turn his back on his people. The original Uncle Tom was a hero in the way all martyrs are heroes.

But during the Civil Rights era,  one in which Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party urged their brethren to defend themselves, any beating taken was viewed as less than heroic. Those who allowed themselves to be whipped by white cops, bitten by their dogs, and stung by fire hoses, were branded Uncle Toms. Over time, the term devolved into any black person who acted how white folks wanted them to act. It was assumed the black folks did this because they too wanted to be white.

This is the definition that made its way into the Rose household.

Rose is correct in his synopsis of the Duke program. Coach Mike Krzyzewski has indeed sought and signed those black athletes who most positively represent the university and its storied program. And why wouldn’t he want clean cut, articulate young men who play good defense, hit the boards and excel in academia? Why wouldn’t any coach want that?

But that theory was blown to smithereens by Coach K’s most coveted recruit in the fall of 1996. The kid fit the Duke profile — he was intelligent, thoughtful, and raised by two parents in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. But Kobe Bryant skipped Duke and took his show to LA. Krzyzewski had to be disappointed. Any team featuring Bryant was certain to cut down several nets. Nonetheless, Krzyzewski persevered and won two more championships.

And Bryant, with five rings and counting, continues to purge us of the notion that for black folks, the only path to greatness is paved with disenfranchisement. Even those who hate him must admit that Kobe Bryant is as ferocious a competitor as any man in sport.

And he is no Uncle Tom.

The modern Uncle Tom is that black person who purposely undercuts the efforts of other black folks who are just going about the daily business of excellence. And when this is done publicly, it’s even more destructive. In that sense, a young Jalen Rose was the corrosive agent who purposely disparaged Grant Hill and his family of overachievers.

I can’t say the same for everyone else. “Tomming” is running rampant these days. Next time you read a story by a black writer who goes out of his way to lampoon some black athlete, coach, or public figure, ask yourself: “Is this guy being sincere, or is he sucking up to those white folks whose view of blackness is limited to what they see on the screen?” Of course he didn’t know any better, but Rose was the real Uncle Tom.

When I was the navy, I had a friend named Chris, who was black and when talking to a group of white folks, one of them would always say,”You talk white.” He once said, “I assumed the achievement of subject-verb agreement in simple conversation was normal among all people.” They’d look confused and I’d fall out laughing.  We had both, already encountered enough inarticulate white folks to know that they did not have a monopoly on general aptitude.

That’s the way it’s always been. That’s how it was when Jackie Robinson opened a letter from Malcolm X. I’m sure you know Jackie’s story, and I’m sure most of you know Malcolm’s story too, most of it at least. Most people leave out the part when he and Martin Luther King became friends in the ultimate act of black unity. (Perhaps this is why black unity remains a myth to some …that’s for a later discussion.)

Black History: Barrington Irving


On March 23, 2007 Barrington A. Irving became the first black pilot to fly solo around the world. A native of Kingston, Jamaica, he also became the first Jamaican to complete such a feat. Studying aerospace at Florida Memorial University, Barrington turned down multiple football scholarships in order to pursue his love of aviation. He is currently running Experience Aviation, “a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering minority youth to pursue careers in aviation.”

Black Is: This Week in Photos

Photos and headlines from the week of Jan 31st – Feb 6th, 2011.

February is National Black History month, and its theme is African Americans and the Civil War

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration of the massive storm moving across the United States.

Massive snowstorm blankets US from Texas to New York.

Photo of Chicago taken two days apart after the snow storm

UC Irvine takes flak for MLK dinner menu items of chicken and waffles.

Gov. Jerry Brown's 14-Minute State of the State

Governor Jerry Brown prepares for his State of the State speech.

Pittsburgh Steelers' Hines Ward wears a wig during ...

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward wears a wig during media day for NFL football Super Bowl XLV

Halle Berry quits film to prep for custody fight with ex-Gabriel Aubry over their 2  year old daughter, Nahla.

File:Greensboro four statue.jpg

A statue of the Greensboro Four stands on the campus of North Carolina A&T. February 1st marks the anniversary of the Greensboro sit-ins.

An injured anti-government protestor rests in a house in Tahrir Square after clashes with supporters of President Hosni Mubarak.

Shooting at an Omega Psi Phi Fraternity house in Youngstown, Ohio leaves 11  shot, one student dead.

Pepsi Super Bowl ad stirs up controversy with stereotypes of the “angry Black woman”

Usher performs during halftime of the NFL Super ...

Usher performs during halftime at Super Bowl XLV (45)

Green Bay Packers' Donald Driver kisses the Vince ...

Green Bay Packers’ Donald Driver kisses the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Packers beat Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV