Evander Holyfield (with Lee Gruenfeld)
When it comes to your favorite athletes, what do you think makes them the winners they are?
What kind of drive made him stay the course when everyone else was winning? Why did she keep practicing when everyone told her she’d never be good enough? When the road got rough, what prodded your favorite athlete to stay the course?
In the new book “Becoming Holyfield” (c.2008, Atria, $25.00 / $28.99 Canada, 288 pages) by Evander Holyfield (with Lee Gruenfeld), you’ll see that in this case, guidance, a national club, a few kind people with vision, and a mother’s love gave a champ a glove up.
As the youngest of eight children, being raised by a single mother and a Bible-quoting grandmother, Evander Holyfield remembers that he and his next-oldest brother spent hours playing in their Atlanta neighborhood. The Holyfield boys loved sports.
When a neighbor mentioned spending time at the Boys Club, Evander and Bernard couldn’t wait go, too. There, Holyfield says he was awed by the number of activities he could participate in, and he signed up for everything.
Except for the mysterious goings-on at the end of the gym, that is. Kids weren’t allowed there, but young Evander kept trying. Eventually, Carter Morgan let him in, taught Holyfield a thing or two, and became the boy’s first mentor.
Holyfield won his first match at age eight, and didn’t lose for three years.
In this thoughtful, humble, and gracious biography, Holyfield writes about the people who stepped in to help him when he was a struggling amateur athlete with a young family to feed, and the belief they had in his budding career.
He writes about the excitement of the Olympics, the heartbreak of the outcome, and the patience he found in learning there were people in his corner who would take up certain fights on behalf of a boxer.
He writes of opponents both in the ring and out. He admits to a few things he did wrong and a lot he did right. He remembers his mother who raised him to be a good man, and the father Holyfield didn’t meet until he was well-grown. And Holyfield talks about his best fight and the one that fans still mention in disbelieving tones.
Think all athletes write memoirs to brag?
Not at all. This one is different.
At a time when grandstanding seems to be the reason so many people put pen to paper, author Evander Holyfield doesn’t boast. He’s proud of his achievements, sure, but the usual chest-pounding just isn’t there. I was pleased and surprised to see a good sense of humor, too, as well as a little-boy hurt and confusion at being lied-to. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t expect those things from a man who admits to how much he loves to TKO his opponent in the ring.
The big question is, will Evander Holyfield attempt a comeback? I’m not telling. You have to find out by picking up this very well-done book. For boxing fans and non-fans alike, “Becoming Holyfield” is a knock-out of a book.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A settlement was reached in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a former assistant to the Wayans brothers against the joke-telling family over a humor book about women who prey upon wealthy men, court papers show.
Jared Edwards claimed in the lawsuit he filed in federal court in Los Angeles in 2009 that during the 10 years he worked as a personal assistant to Keenen, Shawn and Marlon Wayans, he came up with the idea for a joke book about women on the prowl for “sugar daddies.”
CHICAGO, Ill.—Celebrated matrimonial attorney and historian Jeffery M. Leving will be donating an original 1855 first edition of My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass to Chicago State University Foundation at Chicago’s Union League Club on May 19. Frederick Douglass’ great great grandson Gordon Bell will be in attendance for the book donation.
We’ve all heard the sad statistics before and wondered about the future of our community; with so many men and women incarcerated. For years, conspiracy theorists have pointed to the same statistics and claimed that people of color are purposefully targeted and how the prison system is akin to the old Jim Crow system.
“For a long time I resisted the comparison,” author Michelle Alexander said. “I thought people who made those kinds of claims were doing more harm than good.
When the doctor said you needed a booster shot, it made you wince.
You’re all grown up, and you know that a vaccine is nothing but a poke, a sting, and lots of protection. No big deal.
So why is there a little-kid part of you that wants to wail, when the needle approaches your arm (or worse)?
A sold-out crowd of book lovers and prospective authors recently spent a Saturday indulging in conversations with their favorite Black romance writers, during the Fall Into Fiction workshop hosted by the United California African American Bookclubs (UCAAB) in Carson.