Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ole Miss' James Meredith on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes


Audio of interview can be found here.
Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
James Meredith on Graduation Day at Ole Miss
On Saturday, October 25, 2014 tune in to hear the fourth interview that focuses on the newly released book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Today's show will feature a conversation with decorated Air Force Veteran and the first Black to integrate Ole Miss in 1962, James Meredith. Listen to Mr. Meredith share his views on race, politics (then and now), and how the Ole Miss and Mississippi State University football teams are now game changers in the discussion of race relations not only in the South but around the world.

Hear Mr. Meredith's views on how sports can bring solutions to race relations and why he believes Ole Miss and Mississippi State University performances on the football field during the last three weeks have forever changed the state of Mississippi.

The foreword of Strong Inside is a passage from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" t:
  “One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer.”

 Listen to the similarities between Vanderbilt's Perry Wallace, the first Black to play in the Southeastern Conference, lonely journey as a pioneer and James Meredith's historic integration of Ole Miss. You will also hear the differences in their approaches to the jeering mobs that came with their heroism and the mental stress of attending school daily under such riveting conditions.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST

 More About James Meredith:


   “The traditional practice in Mississippi has been to eliminate potential troublemakers before they have a chance to cause trouble. Far more Negroes have been lynched for having a bad or wrong attitude (by Mississippi ‘White Supremacy’ standards) than for committing a particular crime. Whenever a Negro questioned the status quo in Mississippi, he just simply disappeared.”

From James Meredith’s book, Three Years in Mississippi


Author is only one of many hats worn by the enigmatic James Meredith. Born June 25, 1933, in Kosciusko, Mississippi, Meredith is best known as the first African-American student of the University of Mississippi. Meredith served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1960, including a tour of duty in Japan. He then attended Jackson State College for two years. In the fall of 1962 Meredith risked his life when he successfully applied the laws of integration and became the first black student at the University of Mississippi, a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement which sparked riots on the Oxford campus that left two people dead. 
 
In 1966 he recounted the experience in his first publication, Three Years in Mississippi. Of that book, a reviewer for Newsweek wrote, “Seldom is a piece of violent history so dispassionately dissected by one of its participants as it has been by James Meredith in this three-years-later study of his breakthrough at the University of Mississippi. Part report and part legal brief, part manifesto, part tract, it is a valuable and fascinating account.” 

Shortly after the publication of Three Years in Mississippi, Meredith conceived and organized the “Walk Against Fear,” a march from Memphis to Jackson, Mississippi, in a bold and selfless repudiation of the physical violence faced by African-Americans for exercising their voting rights. Meredith was shot on the march, and when he was physically able to resume the march, he did so, joined this time by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other prominent civil rights leaders of the day.
In 1968 Meredith received a LL.B. from Columbia University. Meredith’s career has included a run for a congressional seat in 1972 and, in perhaps his most controversial move yet, a stint on the staff of arch-conservative Senator Jesse Helms beginning in 1989. Meredith’s most recent publication is a historical work: Mississippi: A Volume of Eleven Books was published in 1995. 

On March 21, 1997, James Meredith presented his papers to the University of Mississippi where they are maintained by the Special Collections branch of the J.D. Williams Library

Credit: University of Mississippi


Photo Credits: University of Mississippi, Vanderbilt University

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When A Grandmother Calls

My maternal grandparents helped shape my thoughts, values, and paved paths for me even when I was not aware of them doing so. They gave me the audacity to dream and prepared me to take giant leaps in life by being loving and supportive. Now that I am a grandparent, I want 'Grand Prince' to have that same confidence to dream big and know he is loved. Being a grandparent has taught me a love that I would have never known existed and helps me appreciate the relationship I have had with my grandparents all my life. The love of a grandparent is like no other.

Being a card carrying member of the grandparents' club now, I know from first hand experience, when a grandmother is deeply involved in a child's life, the sky is the limit. The child is going to soar because a grandmother can will it to be. Or at the very least, try to pull the sky closer for her grandchild to reach it. Do not believe a grandmother  would not grab a corner of the galaxy to make things happen? Keep reading.

I received an urgent call from a dear friend who has a grandchild who has sickle cell. She said in a very determined voice, "I need you to get the word out about the petition on White House.Gov to declare sickle cell a national priority. We must let others know more about sickle cell disease. We can not let any more funding be cut from research. Nor can we let any more clinics be closed. This is very important!" In the next breath, she reminded of the power of a grandmother's love. "You know my grand-baby has sickle cell. This is not an issue or cause, it is my grand-baby's life we are talking about."


My friend, a grandmother of a young free spirit with sickle cell, was prepared to organize a ride to moon if that was what it was going to take to get enough signatures to get the attention of the President. On the day of the call, the petition had around 22,000 signatures. The petition needed 100,000 and the deadline was looming a few days away. With sickle cell affecting 90,000 Americans and 3 million individuals are trait carriers of the sickle cell disease, this petition was important to many families.
Sickle Cell Disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Normal red blood cells are round like doughnuts, and they move through small blood tubes in the body to deliver oxygen. Sickle red blood cells become hard, sticky and shaped like sickles used to cut wheat. When these hard and pointed red cells go through the small blood tube, they clog the flow and break apart. This can cause pain, damage and a low blood count, or anemia.

Sickle Cell Disease is a major public health concern causing critical healthcare impacts in the nation. After talking through a strategic grass roots plan with my friend, I promised her that I would share her message and the information she had sent me with others. Within a few hours of us working our Rolodex, emails, and social media accounts, there was a noticeable increase in the numbers. Two days later, every Bam Mom, Big Mom, Gramma, Grammy, Grams, Grandma, Grandmama, Grandmother, Grandma, Grannie, Ma, Maw, Memaw, Mom-mo, Nanas, and one Grand Diva were contacted to sign the online petition. If they were not internet savvy, we suggested getting a grandchild to walk them through the process.

Alaira with her mother and grandmother.
 

Two days before the deadline and three days after the call, the Sickle Cell Disease Petition to the White House had met the required numbers and then some. It is amazing what happens when a community comes together for the greater good and the effectiveness of social media. It is even more amazing to see the love of a grandmother in action. It is a beautiful site to behold.

Thank you for signing the petition!
The little angel above thanks you as well as her grandmother (and the rest of the family) who loves her dearly!


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Perry Wallace Part 2 on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes


Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
Genma Holmes inspecting the arrival of Strong Inside at Vanderbilt Press Offices

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 tune in to hear the third interview that focuses on the book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Perry Wallace, the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference will share more about his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University and he will continue sharing with us his thoughts on the attention he has received over the years. Mr. Wallace will also share what it meant to him to receive a Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship while attending Columbia University.

We will also hear a thought provoking conversation between Andrew Maraniss and Dr. Edwin Hines, a graduate of Howard University and a Meharry trained dentist who has read Strong Inside from cover to cover several times. Listen to an engaging exchange of historical facts about Nashville, cultural differences, The Civil Rights Movement, and generational perspectives between Maraniss who has known Perry Wallace twenty-five years and Dr. Hines who arrived at Meharry around the same time Mr. Wallace was beginning his pioneering journey at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Hines and Andrew Maraniss
Dr. Hines will share with Andrew Maraniss how Strong Inside impacted him, a extremely shy young man coming of age in the tumultuous 60s, and his thoughts after hearing Mr. Wallace speak candidly about his life before and after Vanderbilt. Andrew Maraniss will share what he has learned since the earlier interviews and why his background as a journalist and researcher were vital to telling the Mr. Wallace's story. Hear Hines share why the "Perry Wallaces of the world" need more "Andrews" to bring untold stories to the forefront to empower, inspire, and motivate us to live our best life.

This series about Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Intersection of Race and Sports in the South have captured the hearts and interests of thousands from sea to shining sea. Your texts, emails, and phone calls have been encouraging. Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes has shared your responses with Mr. Wallace and Andrew Maraniss. You can purchase the book here.

Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST

Strong Inside-Book Trailer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Perry Wallace Discusses "Strong Inside" on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

Audio of Perry Wallace's Interview can be found here.
Previous post and audio about Strong Inside with Andrew Maraniss can be found here.

Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers  embody, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
 On Saturday, October 11, 2014 tune in to hear the second interview that focuses on the soon to be released book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss. Perry Wallace, the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference will share from his early childhood, his life in Nashville, and his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University. Unknown to Mr. Wallace at the time, his decision to attend Vanderbilt University would forever change sports in the south and become a defining moment in race relations in our country.
Listen to Mr. Wallace share how his mother prepped him at an early age to overcome the challenges he later faced in life by teaching him to cope with his asthma. She taught him a relaxation technique he calls "prayer and preparation" which he practiced daily while at Vanderbilt that helped him to manage the intense stress that came with the constant threats and scrutiny. Hear him talk about "getting on the plane to Ole Miss" and why he was determined to see the mission to the end, even if it meant the end of his life.
Mr. Wallace also talks about how he dealt with naysayers by surrounding himself with "friends and friendly people" who supported him. Mr. Wallace will address the isolation that came with being a pioneer and the role of his family in his life. Hear him share why attending Vanderbilt was much bigger than playing sports and why can loose sight of the true purpose of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mr. Wallace will discuss why he left Nashville after his collegiate career at Vanderbilt and how he revisited "Throwback Theater" at an awards ceremony a few years ago that led him to write an essay on bullying. Mr. Wallace talks about being intentional in helping others learned from his defining moments that are etched in our country's history to teach reconciliation and forgiveness of the past while addressing the present and preparing us to have honest dialogues about race relations.

This is part one of a two part interview with Mr. Wallace.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST


More About Perry Wallace




Professor Perry E. Wallace received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and engineering mathematics from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering in 1970. He received his law degree from Columbia University in 1975, where he was awarded the Charles Evans Hughes Fellowship.



Professor Wallace was for several years a senior trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, handling cases involving environmental and natural resources law. He has also served as a securities arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange, Inc., and has also been a commercial arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, Inc. In 1992, he was appointed to a three-year term on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. He is a tenured Professor of Law at the Washington College of Law of the American University, where he teaches corporate, environmental and international law.

 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Andrew Maraniss on Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes

 Update: Audio of show can be found here.

Join Living Your Best Life with Genma Holmes as we profile organizations, leaders, and volunteers who lead by example. With extraordinary acts of kindness and charitable giving that help countless lives daily, these organizations, leaders, and volunteers embody "Be the change you want to see in the world."


On Saturday, October 4, 2014 tune in to hear one of several interviews that will focus on the life Perry Wallace and "the Collision of Race and Sports in the South" with Andrew Maraniss who will discuss his first book, Strong Inside.  Maraniss will share about Perry Wallace's, (the first African-American to play sports in the Southeastern Conference) early childhood, his life at Pearl High School, and his historic decision to play basketball at Vanderbilt University. Unknown to Wallace at the time, his decision to attend Vanderbilt would forever change sports in the south and would become a defining moment in race relations in our country.




Maraniss will share how he first learned of one of America's unsung pioneering heroes during his sophomore year at Vanderbilt University. Maraniss wrote about Wallace for a Black Studies class. That initial paper lead to more stories on Wallace by Maraniss when he became the sports editor of Vanderbilt's student newspaper. Maraniss relationship with Perry Wallace continued even when his pen was not writing about him.


Tune in to hear the engaging conversations between the show host, Genma Holmes, and Andrew Maraniss as they  discuss Perry Wallace's great achievements in higher education and his stellar performances on the basketball court that came with isolation, constant worry about his life, and delayed satisfaction. They also discuss the contrast between many Civil Rights Era leaders who were often marching with others and trailblazing Wallace who played alone in arenas filled with taunting jeering crowds while he played basketball games as the only African-American in the SEC.

Stong Inside chronicles not only Perry Wallace's life before and after the game of basketball at Vanderbilt, but time stamps events in Nashville and around the country. The author and host believe that Strong Inside can be used to initiate healthy race relations discussion while giving us an insight into present day events.

This interview promises to empower, inspire, and motivate you to live your BEST life.Tune into 760AM in the Middle Tennessee Region, on Tune In, streaming live online at UStream.TV, and on military bases on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am CST.

More About Andrew Maraniss


Strong Inside is the first book by Andrew Maraniss. A partner at McNeely Pigott & Fox Public Relations in Nashville, Andrew studied history at Vanderbilt University as a recipient of the Fred Russell – Grantland Rice sportswriting scholarship, earning the school’s Alexander Award for excellence in journalism and graduating in 1992. He then worked for five years in Vanderbilt’s athletic department as the associate director of media relations, dealing primarily with the men’s basketball team. In 1998, he served as the media relations manager for the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays during the team’s inaugural season, and then returned to Nashville to join MP&F. The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, Andrew was born in Madison, Wis., grew up in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and now lives in Brentwood, Tenn., with his wife Alison, and their two young children.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @trublu24 and visit his website at andrewmaraniss.com.

Photo credits:  Vanderbilt University, Andrew Maraniss, and Genma Holmes