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IN MEMORIAM: Legendary Morgan State and New York Knicks Assistant Coach: Nat Frazier Passes Away at 84

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “My dad was a bigger believer in good basketball… basketball was basketball to him, and I think he recognized early the impact that women could make, before a lot of other people did,” said Nathaniel Frazier’s son, Kevin. “He loved and appreciated the contributions that women could make in basketball and even though his particular franchise didn’t exactly work out, he was still so supportive of the WNBA.”

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(Photos provided by the Frazier family)

By Lauren Poteat, NNPA Washington Correspondent

Morgan State University, a historically Black institution located in Baltimore, Maryland, recently celebrated the life of legendary award-winning basketball coach Nathaniel Frazier, who passed away Sept. 22 at Howard County General Hospital at the age of 84.

A former NBA New York Knicks Assistant Coach and an NCAA Division II Championship Coach, “Nat” Frazier was devoted not only to the love of basketball but also to the community, hard work and, most importantly, his family.

“My dad loved the game of basketball, he was a master at it, but it was his love for family that really made him great,” Kevin Frazier, eldest son of Nat Frazier and co-host of CBS’s Entertainment Tonight, said.

“He was an amazing dad. My dad was always in my corner. He never held a grudge and his big thing was ‘people make mistakes, you’re going to make mistakes, but it’s how you bounce back from that mistake the matters.’”

Born in Beaufort, S.C., Nat grew up in the racially segregated south of Savannah, Georgia, where he graduated from Alfred E. Beach High School after leading his team to the Georgia State High School basketball title in 1953 and being named to the All-Tourney team in 1954.

Nat, who attended Tuskegee Institute, and became an All-SIAC pick twice, went on to play semi-pro basketball in the New York State Industrial Basketball League before receiving a Master’s in Health Counseling from City College of New York and completing a post-Master’s studies at New York University and the University of Illinois in Educational Administration.

Dedicated to the importance and strength of education, not only did Nat obtain his own multiple degrees, but he also helped to make sure that all of his siblings attended and graduated from college as well.

When Nat initially began coaching at Morgan State in 1972 (where he remained until 1977), he introduced a style of basketball that would emphasize intricate offenses and hard-nosed defense.

Through these techniques, the Bears would go on to play a form of triangle offenses, popularized by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s.

Those same techniques would go on to secure unprecedented success for Morgan State University, including the team’s 1974 NCAA Division II Championship (which has never been won since) and an Associated Press National “Coach of the Year,” given to the passionate leader for his exceptional coaching.

During his seven seasons with Morgan State, Frazier was the 10th winningest coach in Division II history — a very proud moment for his son.

“I remember Morgan State winning the national championship. I was there with him,” Kevin recounted. “I basically grew up going everywhere with him… I always felt like I was his sidekick… living life with him was always a huge adventure.”

While at Morgan State, Nat took his teams on several overseas trips and traveled to Africa to help spread the game and train coaches in the Western part of the continent.

Nat also spent a decade of summers coaching overseas in the Venezuelan Special Basketball League, where his Carabobo team won the league title in 1973.

Following Frazier’s first tenure at Morgan in 1977, Frazier went to the NBA as an assistant coach for the New York Knicks.

He then became a part of the ownership team and was the general manager in the groundbreaking Women’s Basketball League that would pave the way for what is now known as the “WNBA.”

“My dad was a bigger believer in good basketball… basketball was basketball to him, and I think he recognized early the impact that women could make, before a lot of other people did,” Kevin continued. “He loved and appreciated the contributions that women could make in basketball and even though his particular franchise didn’t exactly work out, he was still so supportive of the WNBA.”

In 1986 Nat returned back to Morgan State where he remained until 1989, where his son Kevin said was home for him.

“He played at college level, the NBA and overseas but Morgan was his home,” Kevin laughed. “And you know, I know people got mad at Jemele Hill for saying this, but I really don’t understand why more Black athletes aren’t going to more Black colleges.”

“I think people have forgotten why these colleges are important and I am old enough to remember when Black colleges were still the powerhouses for so many great players, like Doug Williams from Grambling State University… HBCU’s are an experience where you’re not only in your comfort zone, but you learn about yourself.”

Nat was inducted into the Athletic Halls of Fame for A.E. Beach High School (1996), Tuskegee University (2001), and Morgan State University (2004).

Nathaniel Frazier is survived by his wife of 57 years, Alice Frazier; his eldest son, Kevin, daughter-in-law, Yasmin, and grandsons, Tony, Shane, and Reece; his youngest son, Kenneth, daughter-in-law, Rona, and grandchildren, Kennedy and Ava; two brothers, James (Al) Frazier and Timothy (Neil) Frazier; and a host of nieces, nephews, close friends, and former students and basketball players who became like family to him.

“It was always remarkable to see the impact that he had on so many people. I still meet people today, all over the states, who come up to me and tell me what an impact my father had on their lives,” Kevin said.

“I think it makes you understand the effect that he had on so many lives. He raised a lot of young Black men and women, too. It is beautiful to see that and to talk to everybody.”

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Fighting an Unjust System, The Bail Project Helps People Get Out of Jail and Reunites Families

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

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Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.
Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily — many find it challenging to pay bail

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

As public support for criminal justice reform continues to build — and as the pandemic raises the stakes higher — advocates remain adamant that it’s more important than ever that the facts are straight, and everyone understands the bigger picture.

“The U.S. doesn’t have one ‘criminal justice system;’ instead, we have thousands of federal, state, local, and tribal systems,” Wendy Sawyer and Peter Wagner found in a study released by the nonprofit Prison Policy Initiative.

Together, these systems hold almost 2 million people in 1,566 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,850 local jails, 1,510 juvenile correctional facilities, 186 immigration detention facilities, and 82 Indian country jails, as well as in military prisons, civil commitment centers, state psychiatric hospitals, and prisons in the U.S. territories,” the study authors said in a press release.

With hundreds of thousands of individuals locked up in jails almost daily, many find it challenging to pay bail.

Recognizing America’s ongoing mass incarceration problem and the difficulties families have in bailing out their loved ones, a new organization began in 2018 to offer some relief.

The Bail Project, a nationwide charitable fund for pretrial defendants, started with a vision of combating mass incarceration by disrupting the money bail system.

Adrienne Johnson, the regional director for The Bail Project, told NNPA’s Let It Be Known that the organization seeks to accomplish its mission one person at a time.

“We have a mission of doing exactly what we hope our criminal system would do: protect the presumption of innocence, reunite families, and challenge a system that we know can criminalize poverty,” Johnson stated.

“Our mission is to end cash bail and create a more just, equitable, and humane pretrial system,” she insisted.

Johnson said The Bronx Freedom Fund, at the time a new revolving bail fund that launched in New York, planted the seed for The Bail Project more than a decade ago.

“Because bail is returned at the end of a case, we can build a sustainable revolving fund where philanthropic dollars can be used several times per year, maximizing the impact of every contribution,” Johnson stated.

In addition to posting bail at no cost to the person or their family, The Bail Project works to connect its clients to social services and community resources based on an individual’s identified needs, including substance use treatment, mental health support, stable housing and employment.

Johnson noted that officials created cash bail to incentivize people to return to court.

Instead, she said, judges routinely set cash bail well beyond most people’s ability to afford it, resulting in thousands of legally innocent people incarcerated while they await court dates.

According to The Bail Project, Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by cash bail, and of all Black Americans in jail in the U.S., nearly half are from southern prisons.

“There is no way to do the work of advancing pretrial reform without addressing the harmful effects of cash bail in the South,” said Robin Steinberg, Founder, and CEO of The Bail Project.

“Cash bail fuels racial and economic disparities in our legal system, and we look forward to supporting the community in Greenville as we work to eliminate cash bail and put ourselves out of business.”

Since its launch, The Bail Project has stationed teams in more than 25 cities, posting bail for more than 18,000 people nationwide.

Johnson said the organization uses its national revolving bail fund, powered by individual donations, to pay bail.

The Bail Project has spent over $47 million on bail.

“When we post bail for a person, we post the full cash amount at court,” Johnson stated.

“Upon resolution of the case, the money returns to whoever posted. So, if I posted $5,000 to bail someone out, we then help the person get back to court and resolve the case,” she continued.

“The money then comes back to us, and we can use that money to help someone else. So, we recycle that.”

Johnson said eliminating cash bail and the need for bail funds remains the goal.

“It’s the just thing to do. It restores the presumption of innocence, and it restores families,” Johnson asserted.

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PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina

NNPA NEWSWIRE — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and other participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.
The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Administrator to honor legacy of environmental justice and civil rights at event in Warren County, site of protests that launched the movement 40 years ago

WASHINGTON (September 22, 2022) – On Saturday, September 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan will travel to Warren County, North Carolina to deliver remarks on EPA’s environmental justice and civil rights priorities and the progress we’ve achieved since the first protest and march that launched the movement 40 years ago this week. Administrator Regan will make a significant announcement on President Biden’s commitment to elevate environmental justice and civil rights enforcement at EPA and across the federal government and ensure the work to support our most vulnerable communities continues for years to come.

Administrator Regan will be joined by significant figures from the civil rights and environmental justice movements, including participants from the original Warren County protests for the event.

Who:
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan
Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01)
Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Leaders
Warren County residents and community leaders
Additional stakeholders

What: Remarks on EPA environmental justice and civil rights priorities and honoring the legacy of the environmental justice and civil rights movement
When: Saturday, September 24, 2022,
Doors Open: 11:30 AM ET
Program: 12:45 PM ET
;
Where: Warren County Courthouse
109 S Main Street
Warrenton, NC 27589
Livestream: A livestream of this event will be available at epa.gov/live.

The post PRESS ROOM: EPA Administrator Regan to Join Leaders of Civil Rights, Environmental Justice Movement for Significant Announcement in Warren County, North Carolina first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane

Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …
The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Join Al McFarlane (Host), Brenda Lyle-Gray (Co-Host) and Special Guest Co-Host Diana Hawkins, Executive Director for …

The post September 26 | Governance at the Local Level | The Conversation with Al McFarlane first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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