“I played football with Franklin Burkhardt and we remained lifelong friends,” President Reagan recounted when he introduced his Coach Mac at the Washington D.C. Touchdown Club where my grandpa was to receive the prestigious Timmie Award for his contribution to college football.
“It wasn’t so easy for a young black man to come to college and make his way back in that day,” Reagan continued, “But Dr. William Burkhardt went onto become the athletic director at Morgan State. Before Burgie died, he said something most fitting for the man I am about to introduce, ‘the man who had the most influence in my entire life was Coach Ralph McKinzie.’”
I teach at an international school with students of over a hundred different nationalities where the notion of racism is non existent, so during Black History Month every February I try to help my students understand how prejudice can pass through generations even in a nation founded on democracy. Though I grew up in small town, USA, at the heels of the Civil Rights Movement, I don’t have a racist bone in my body. I credit that to the two families who taught me that everyone should be treated equal; the white one I was born to, and the black one I adopted through basketball.
I was born in Sandwich Illinois at the far, far outskirts of the Windy City, but I have lived by the White House in D.C., the Eiffel Tower in Paris, a 15th century German castle, and Lake Geneva surrounded by the Alps. I moved 12 times in 17 years between four different countries. Even spectacular […]
“Fall seven times and stand up eight.” I live by the Japanese Proverb. I have hit the deck more than once – undercut on a rebound, flipped off a bike, smashed in a car accident. I have fought back from broken bones, shattered dreams, dashed hopes. I cried an ocean of tears over lost abilities. […]
I am X-Pat, a feisty globetrotter. Teacher, writer, coach, speaker, and trailblazer with the down-to-earth, open-armed persona of The Heartland and a European twist. I have lived in four different countries, speak three languages and raised two bi-cultural kids with one très bon Frenchman. My passion is inspiring courage, breaking barriers, and creating connections.
Down and out? Hopeless and helpless? No matter where you are in your journey, my stories can help pick up your spirits, make transitions, gain new perspectives or just escape the daily grind.
If you deny a woman’s history, you erase her identity. I reveal the athlete’s untold story, from the passage of Title IX through forty years of social change. What makes it different from other sport biographies is the voice of a woman who walks the talk, who dribbled the ball and tells the story.