The Undefeated (by ESPN)

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Joining forces with Jay-Z is just what the NFL needed

NEW YORK — The pairing of the NFL and rapper-businessman-activist Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter is surprising, but it actually makes tremendous sense for the buttoned-down league. As part of a long-term agreement that will be announced during a news conference on Wednesday, Carter’s Roc Nation entertainment...

HBO’s new ‘Black Lady Sketch Show’ is both funny and long overdue

If there’s a lesson to be gleaned from A Black Lady Sketch Show, it’s this: All you need to survive the apocalypse is a headscarf and a League of Extraordinarily Funny Black Women. HBO’s newest late-night sketch show, created by Robin Thede, is an instant...

LeBron James again shows us his greatness, this time as a father

There’s a school of thought — well, foolish thought — that black fathers don’t spend enough time with their children, nor do they even care to be involved in the lives of their kids. That way of thinking is, of course, patently false. In the...

Art Neville was a recognized genius, but not a well-compensated one

It’s an all-too-common story: A fabulous black musician redefines a genre of music. He’s adored and emulated by other musicians, including famous white acts. But the financial rewards, for complicated reasons, don’t match up. This week, we lost a real one: Singer and keyboardist Arthur...

Earth, Wind and Fire among this year’s Kennedy Center honorees

The holiday season is five months away, but Earth, Wind & Fire received an early gift Thursday. The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., announced that the group will be one of the marquee recipients at the 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors later this year.Standing...

Another hidden figure: Clyde Foster brought color to NASA

Clyde Foster came of age in Alabama in the 1950s, a place and time so oppressive for African Americans that a former Nazi rocket scientist stood out as a figure of racial moderation. Foster’s father worked at a Birmingham iron foundry, where the dirtiest, most...

Coco Gauff and family following familiar path to greatness

There’s an oft-repeated story that Richard Williams mapped out the path to tennis stardom for his daughters —Venus and Serena — before they were conceived. That wasn’t quite the case for Corey and Candi Gauff, but the two realized their daughter, Coco, would be special...

Frances Tiafoe: The story behind tennis’s unlikely hero

Frances Tiafoe was always in search of a good game. While literally growing up at the Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) in suburban Washington, D.C., he paced the grounds of the 15-acre indoor/outdoor tennis complex, racquet in hand, until he found the best competition. At 6...

Free agency is a lie that keeps NBA players shackled to teams

“Take advantage of it. You only come this way once. When it’s gone, it’s gone. You’re not going to be able to come back and play anymore.” — Oscar Robertson’s advice to NBA free agents Big O Day in the NBA begins on Sunday as...

HBO film ‘True Justice’ recounts Bryan Stevenson’s crusade for the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned

TSD Editor's Note: Bryan Stevenson was a 2016 recipient of the Freedom Award, presented by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Bryan Stevenson may well be the nation’s most consequential civil rights lawyer since Thurgood Marshall. While Marshall stared down unrepentant racists in Southern courtrooms...