African American History Black History Month

Feb 1: Kobe Bryant

August 23, 1978-January 26, 2020

Mural of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.
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“He achieved the American Dream as a black man in the world.”

Editor’s Note: Many students in my Spring 2020 African American History course were shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Kobe Bryant. Therefore, this year we have chosen to make Bryant our first feature in our Black History Month series. -Denise Holladay Damico, January 31, 2020.

by Ramiir Dixon-Conover

I decided to do my Black history month vignette on Kobe Bryant. Kobe recently died in a helicopter crash January 26 along with his daughter and other’s. Kobe has inspired thousands of people all across the world. Being an athlete, I grew watching Kobe and the Lakers. Kobe is one of the greatest players to play the game of basketball.

A memorial wall at a basketball facility called “House of Kobe” in Valenzuela City, in the Philippines.Credit…Rolex Dela Pena/EPA, via Shutterstock.
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Dwayne Wade, favorite player, looked up to Kobe Bryant coming out of college and pushed to be as great as him on and off the court. Kobe Bryant is a legend who many players in many sports he looks up to him.

Kobe was born in Philadelphia, PA. He changed the game and when he retired in his words, “My life just started”. He was thinking of ways to use “Mamba Mentality” in the outside world to help others. [Editor’s note – read more about “Mamba Mentality” here –]. As a person, many say he was a great person to be around because of how he thought.

Being a basketball player this too affected me because who I never expected for Kobe to go so soon. It will definitely be different without him to be here and affect many people lives who actually knew him.

Growing up playing basketball Kobe Bryant was the player I wanted to be like. He changed the game in many ways. His dedication and hard work was an inspiration for many athletes. What he accomplished in the NBA is very great and historical.

President Barack Obama holds a personalized team jersey presented to him by Los Angeles Lakers guards Kobe Bryant, center, and Derek Fisher, left, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House honoring the 2009 NBA basketball champions, Jan. 25, 2010. Source: Wikipedia.

Not only was a role model on the work but off the court as well. He was an African American man he grew up in the inner city just like I did and beat the odds. He achieved the American Dream as a black man in the world. He was a great husband and father and I wanted to model my future after that. This topic relates to the meaning of Black History Month because we celebrate this month to celebrate the lives of great African American leaders who impacted the world.

Kobe Bryant is one who impacted numerous sports. The way he carried himself as an African American male in today’s society was special. Many great athletes in today’s leagues look up to Kobe and was greatly impacted by it. He was a hero without a cape to myself and thousands of people.

A sand sculpture honoring Bryant at Puri Beach in India was a sign of his global profile and appeal.Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.
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