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NABJ Congratulates Member Claire Smith on Being the First Woman to Win Hall of Fame Award for Baseball Writers

Claire Smith

Claire Smith

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) congratulates member Claire Smith for being named the recipient of the 2017 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. The award is given out annually by the Baseball Hall of Fame to a journalist for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Smith will be the first woman in the award’s 55-year history to receive this top honor.

“On behalf of the entire NABJ family, I congratulate my dear friend Claire for this tremendous honor. She is such an inspiration as she continues to knock down doors for women in sports journalism. She is to be commended not only for being a talented reporter, but also for being steadfast in fighting for equality and paving a way for those who will follow in her footsteps,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

Smith, 62, has written about sports for more than 30 years, for publications including the Philadelphia BulletinHartford CourantNew York Times, and Philadelphia Inquirer. For more than 20 years, her beat was Major League Baseball. In July 2007, she went in a new direction and new industry when she joined ESPN as a news editor, working with the production teams on MLB game broadcasts. She is the author of the autobiography “Don Baylor – Nothing But The Truth: A Baseball Life.”

A trailblazer for women in sports media, Smith has fought for equal access during her entire career. She often refers to a defining moment that came in the 1984 National League Championship Series between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. She was physically removed by players from the Padres clubhouse after Game One. While the situation was eventually resolved, thanks to then-Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, it left scars for a number of years.

Vanessa Williams and Daughter Jillian Hervey on Essence’s January Cover!

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For sensational singer and actress Vanessa Williams and her gorgeous daughter, Lion Babe’s Jillian Hervey, fierceness runs in the family—but so does staying true to who you are at any age. In the cover story, Vanessa + Jillian, the stunning duo chat with Essence about being in the business, the sacredness of family and loving the skin you’re in. Plus, visit Essence.com to see a bonus solo cover for each star! Essence’s January 2017 issue hits newsstands this Friday.

“You have to go through the fire. Avoiding the pain is why most people never resolve it. You have to dig deep, sit in it and ugly-cry. Pretending it’s not there and keeping busy are a way of avoiding it,” Williams states.

I never saw myself as always having that hair. Ever. That wasn’t the plan,” Hervey stated. “That was the label. They were like, ‘You need the hair, you need the hair, you need the hair!…” When the duo signed to Interscope Records, the label loved her video look so much that it insisted she wear it everywhere, even to radio interviews. Hervey, a self-described people pleaser didn’t have the heart to say no. “My hair was supposed to represent this freedom, and then it almost became a trap. You can’t even see my face sometimes because the wig is so big.” These days Hervey was found the strength to put her foot down and has the freedom to ‘transform,’ she says. That might mean donning braids or wearing her hair free and natural…”

Lighting of The Arrowhead Landmark

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- For the first time, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians lit up The Arrowhead in memory and tribute to the 14 lives lost in the December 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino one year ago. The iconic Arrowhead is a natural formation on the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains that can be seen for miles throughout the valley. The brilliant lighting of the Arrowhead formation will stand as a memorial to each life lost on December 2 and a symbol of solidarity and hope for this proud and strong community. 

“Even as we struggle to make sense of those events from a year ago, we remain strong in our commitment to the values that make us a strong community,” said Lynn Valbuena, Chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “We are proud to join with the San Bernardino and our community partners to shine a new light in memory of those we lost.” 

The Arrowhead was lit on Thursday, December 1 and will remain lit until December 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The Arrowhead formation is located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, just north of San Bernardino’s Wildwood Park (40th Street and Waterman Avenue). Lit up with over a dozen 120,000-lumen arc lights, it can be seen from nearly anywhere in the cities of San Bernardino or Highland.