Maurice Ashley honored by Brownsville!

Grandmaster Maurice Ashley was one of the esteemed honorees that also included championship boxer Mike Tyson, actress Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma of “Good Times”) and legendary football player Otis Wilson (Chicago Bears). Christian Whitted posted on social media platforms an event honoring the sons and daughters of the Brownsville Brooklyn area. The event took place on June 11th at the Van Dyke Community Center in Brooklyn.

Maurice Ashley (center) with other Brooklynites (L-R): James Jeffery, National Master Stephen Colding, Sadiq Sekou, and National Master Tyrell Harriott. Photo courtesy of Tyrell Harriott.
Maurice Ashley (center) with other chess players (L-R): James Jeffery, National Master Stephen Colding, Sadiq Sekou,
and National Master Tyrell Harriott. Photo courtesy of Tyrell Harriott.

The honorees were immortalized in a handsome 60-foot-tall “We are Brownsville” mural. The event had a festive atmosphere with face-painting, prize-givings, food, and of course chess! The inspiration for the creation came from artist William Ellis’ idea that far too many tributes of people in the community had been “rest in peace” murals. He sought to change this pattern to provide inspiration to future generations. The seventeen icons had been chosen carefully as those who had “put Brownsville on the map in a positive way.” GM Ashley tweeted.

Lisa Kenner, the Brownsville Resident Association President gave an account of how much of an impact such a project can make on the community. The mural is positioned on the facade of a 12-story affordable housing complex called, “Van Dyke III.” There is another facade in an adjacent building and perhaps another chess player will grace those walls. Congratulations GM Ashley!

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

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