VICII: The Negro League - Black Baseball in the Shadow of America's Favorite Pastime

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America's Favorite Pastime from its beginnings in the 1840's has reflected the contradictions of our country. The all-American sport was deeply racist and segregated with Black players kept out of all white teams until 1946 when Jackie Robinson was hired by the Montreal Royals.

Black players, along with Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, played on their own teams and in the Negro League until 1959 when white owners of white teams wised- up and saw the stunning athletic abilities of the Black and Latin players. Because the owners wanted to win and because some of them saw the moral contradiction of making baseball the all-American sport yet excluding many Americans based on the color of their skin, baseball finally became imtegrated. With the courage of Jackie Robinson and the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, Jackie Robinson was hired by Rickey for the Brooklyn team.

This is the story of the Negro Leagues which were comprised of professional baseball teams of Black Americans and Latin Americans from the 1920's to the 1950's.

This discussion is moderated by Sandy Baird and features Tom Simon, Burlington Attorney, Baseball Historian, Member of the Society For Baseball Research and Ultimate Baseball Fan; Bill "Spaceman" Lee, former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and the Montreal Expos, and the current pitcher for the Burlington Cardinals; and Karl Lindholm, Emeritus Dean of Advising and Assistant Professor of American Studies at Middlebury College and scholar and author regarding the Negro Leagues.

For more information about VICII: vicii.org

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Jim Rader