Black pride

celine graduates
Celine Foster shows off her diploma with mom and dad

Football player/ scholar Garrett Winn and my daughter Celine Foster were named Most Representative Students during the West Bloomfield Honors Convocation which is sort of like being named seniors of the year.

Both were Summa Cum Laude, which means you had a 4.0 grade point average and above and they drew the praise of black parents and grand parents. Both are black and for the older generation it gave them a sense of pride because it chipped away at an annoying stereotype that black people are not smart.

One lady approached Celine and said: “I was clapping for you as if you were my own daughter. This was huge.”

Sadly this is an issue. If you are black in America you have been told at some point that you are not smart enough and that you don’t belong. And some of that comes from other black people.

In a diverse school like West Bloomfield this was a big deal to some people. Winn is going to play football at the Naval Academy and Celine is going to study at Stanford.

Celine finished her high school career with a 4.39 grade point average, scored high in the ACT, wrote a brilliant essay that the Stanford admissions director praised, but she still was told by some folks the only reason she got into Stanford, Michigan and three Ivy League schools was because she is black.

Celine is a clown because she is sometimes messy but she works her ass off and is smart and personable. She is also the best writer in the family.

According to some folks I’ve never earned a job in sports journalism. I had to hear the same thing even when I got a prep job at The Detroit Free Press when I was 25 years old.

I heard the same when I was paired with Mike Valenti at 97.1 FM. I am not the only one. I have swapped stories with ESPN’s Mike Wilbon, the late Bryan Burwell and Drew Sharp. We were all told the same as we worked our way up from preps, to the NBA and later as columnists.

“You only got this job because you are black. You are taking away from a more qualified candidate.”

Would that better candidate have identified that the Freep was covering preps in its zone edition the wrong way and fight to change it? Would that better candidate had covered the Bad Boy Pistons better and earned their trust?

And would that better candidate been able to break a number of stories over the years because he or she earned the trust of athletes and coaches? I doubt it.

It used to annoy me but now I find it comical. I thought that issue was dead until Celine told me several people have told her the color of her skin rather than the quality of her work got her into key schools.

One girl caught Celine in one of those moods when she told her she s not quality enough for Cornell, Brown and Dartmouth and the only reason she got in was because she was black.

“I don’t see you going to any of the Jewish kids, the white kids or the Asian kids when you don’t understand your school work,” Celine told her. “You come to me.”

Case closed.

I was told not to go into journalism because it is not what blacks do. That came from my high school mentor who was black. Thankfully I ignored her and had a pretty good career at the Free Press, News and two radio stations.

The bottom line is if you believe in yourself and know you are qualified, you belong no matter what people say.

I am proud of my career just as I am proud of Celine. I got my job because I was the right person. She got into Stanford because she is smart and the right fit for the school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running man — again

The whiffle game between the parents and the kids was tied 11-11 in the bottom of the seventh. I was standing on first when teammate Bart Hodge sent a screamer into right field.

It looked like a double and I was determined to score from first and win the ball game. I rounded second and felt a slight bit of weakness in my legs but they kept on churning. Then I rounded third and was headed for home as parents screamed for me to score.

Just as I was about to touch home plate I saw the ball secured by one of the kids and I was tagged out about three feet from home. The screaming stopped and I sat on the bench, waiting for us to finish hitting.

I felt good and bad at the same time. Let me explain.

I did not score the game-winning run. I did not round the bases as quickly as I used to, but this was a big moment. I was running. I was not Forest Gump fast but a shade quicker than lumbering Victor Martinez.

However, it felt great to feel the wind blowing in my face again. I can run again, which I could not do a few weeks ago. That was one of the deficits that remained as I recover from a stroke in the fall.

My run ended up in failure but it was probably my most satisfying run since winning the 100-yard dash during a track meet in middle school. I was initially disappointed but my wife Abs was jumping up and down for joy. I am returning to 100 percent, I hope.

In October I was a fall risk at Henry Ford Hospital in West Bloomfield. Now I do three miles of brisk walking on the tread mill daily at Planet Fitness. When I tried to run my legs got all rubbery and shut down.

You take things in life for granted. Running was one of them for me. I was one of the fastest guys in my soft ball league last year when a stroke slowed me down in more ways than one.

I am determined to be completely healthy through diet, exercise and these vitamins I have been taking. I went from 227 pounds to 185 pounds. Some people do not recognize me. I continue to get better every day.

I feel good, but not great. Greatness will have to wait but I know it is coming, just like my ability to run.

I am just going to take it one step at a time.

Welcome to my new blog and pod cast

Hello again.

My name is Terry Foster and I am the guy that used to write for the news paper in Detroit and did sports talk radio.

My life was on a roll until I suffered a stroke last year and my life has changed. I blame myself for not monitoring my blood pressure better. A doctor has since told me that I may have been dealt a bad set of veins inside my brain and they were ticking time bombs ready to clog up.

I was lucky. The veins became sluggish, but not clogged. So I lived another day.

I am a new man and I want to share my thoughts with old friends in this blog and through podcasting. I will talk about my new life, my old life, Detroit sports, or whatever else crosses my mind. It will be personal at times. And I will rap on real life and real issues.

In other words I want to be a voice, no matter how small it may be now.

I also need your help. I want to pay the people helping me and donate to charities I’ve worked with.  Heart to Hart passes out food, blankets, clothing and personal items to the homeless while the Enchanted Barn saves and houses mistreated animals and has inner city kids come out and  learn to take care of them.

My pal Melissa runs the Enchanted Barn and needs our help.

I got involved with Heart to Hart after seeing people huddle near steam pipes on cold winter days after leaving Lion games at night. My heart sank seeing this.

Selfishly I still want to get my word out and entertain even though I am retired. And why not tryet to help those that help others?

I will continue my blog also. I plan to peck out a few words that I hope entertain you, and move you to action, tears or laughter. If you don’t care what I have to say I won’t be offended. Move on. Nothing to see here.

I will try to help you lose weight.

I will try to help you get healthy.

And I will do the impossible. I will try to get you to understand the Detroit Lions.

And I will eventually pick up a note pad and try to break a story or two. I need to talk to my league people first.

I hope you enjoy. I do believe there is room to praise me or rip me. Go ahead. We are friends.

I will not comment about Donald Trump because pro Trump and anti Trump people are like roaches. They never go away and they keep barking the same nonsense for weeks at a time.

How am I feeling since quitting radio? Good but not great. Doctors say I won’t fully recover until the fall. But I no longer get evening headaches and am not exhausted at the end of the day.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope you return again.