Dr. Derrick E. White (Ep. 17, 2020)
WanNa move to the west coast right. They WanNa play in Los Angeles and that the black community the La said no in particular forced the L. A. Don's to say if you WANNA come in you gotta you gotTa desegregate Your Team. So woody strode gets an opportunity to play and Kenny Washington gets a chance to try out for these teams and they they make these teams nfl so we were talking about the kind of reintegration of of professional football. And I think he didn't do a great job. I think it was a missed opportunity. You know I think that you know while. Nfl films has been an amazing. Kinda reservoir of all the kind of history of the NFL. I think they missed an opportunity to tell this unique set of stories about the early players and to really kind of confront the racism that was embedded in NFL football That Push Fritz Pollard. In others out the League in the Nineteen Thirties. I'M NOT GONNA spend too much time but I do want to talk a little bit about the importance in history of historically black college football in wake of the Super Bowl. That is happening here in south Florida this weekend college football just recently celebrated its One Hundred Fiftieth Season Professional. Football just celebrated is in the current celebration of its hundred season and one of the things that gets lost are discussed if you've been paying attention to. These stories is the role of african-american athletes in particular because of segregation that many of the black athletes that are celebrated by the NFL and College. Football were members of historically black colleges and universities and so for many people who are aware of the landscape. And I know this is a this is a home crowd because I know many of your teachers are graduates of Doom Cookman graduates of Florida graduates of Clark Atlanta or more house. And other historically black colleges. Who are really shaping your lives in many ways and so for you many times when. I sat in that exact same seed as a high school student in Lexington Kentucky Mini and my teachers including my mom or graduates of Kentucky State University. And so this is very much a project that was near and dear to my heart. Let me really quickly. Because I don't have much time this morning. I want to say a couple things that in one thousand nine hundred seventy nine. The University of Miami traveled to Tallahassee to play Florida and him and on paper and from the modern perspective. Many people like yourselves when I introduced students assume that this game would be a blow out but Florida. Am One sixteen thirteen on a goal. Line stand in Misfield in the last seconds of the game. And what's interesting is when I researched this when I came across this story and the story of this game. What was most interesting to me? Was that the newspapers in Florida. Had Florida A and M as a favourite and I saw that as a clue right. This is a moment to think what was happening that these knowledgeable sports writers black and white thought that Miami would lose to Florida and this opens up a whole history of black college football that beginning in eighteen ninety two. The first historically Black College football game was played in North Carolina and by the early twentieth century. The game was brought to the state of Florida and so in my book. I talk about three kinds of things because this is like your high school when people like to remember three things right so three things you could take away. The first piece of the book talks about what I call a sporting congregations. How did and why did black colleges create athletic programs when they are struggling for money in a segregated educational system relying on Churches? Donations in philanthropy. And how do they do it? And how do they do in such a successful manner and they do this in a couple of ways that these sporting congregations are really the reaction in the product of the work of former players? Many of whom had played as African Americans have played northern schools like Dartmouth or Colgate who come only get jobs as teachers at historically black colleges. It is a project of administrators who supported Allow for student body. Take extra curricula activities. Besides debate and say that they're young men could go out and play tackle football. The third piece is that it required a bass in robust black community in particular. The black press that black newspapers like the Chicago defender the Pittsburgh. Courier and others supported these bowl. These emerging teams and so as a coalition. These things formed a sporting congregation. This is probably most evident in Florida. When in nineteen thirty three Florida am creates the Orange Blossom classic now? How many people have heard of the Florida classic all right? How many people have heard of the Orange Blossom? Classic SAYS A I C MO. My older my season citizens because the orange blossom classic has not been played but beginning in one thousand nine. Thirty Three Florida in an was not a very good. Football program had been playing kind of sporadically for two decades. They decided that they were going to hold a bowl game or an exhibition game. That would be that would invite a team from another part of the country in this case Howard University down to Jacksonville to play this game and in doing so. Howard was one of the elite institutions. It had an elite football program had previously won a national title two years before this game and in doing so they get for they. Get Howard down to Jacksonville. And they're selling this black community in Jacksonville and they support. This game wins. The first game upset against Howard University and the Orange Blossom classic becomes the most important Black College football classic in its existence from Nineteen thirty three into the early nineteen seventies in nineteen forty seven the orange blossom classic will move to Miami and so we see the creation of this sporting congregation. Coming to fruition right. The Black Community and south Florida will move the game. Here it will be the first black community black team to play in the Orange Bowl in one thousand nine hundred eighty seven in fact. How many have you guys played in Trash Pile Stadium? Almost all right never won there okay. Who's traffic does anybody know? Who Tries? Powell is a black man okay. That's the point anybody else. Two time all American in Florida. Who was a longtime coach in Miami at George Washington and Carver? He also caught the first touchdown in as an African American. In the score the first touchdown in the Orange Bowl so he's legacy here in south Florida so after this sporting congregation allows for schools of all sorts. Whether it's Florida or Howard. University or Tennessee stay or Jackson state or prairie view to establish this network and Support College Athletics in Particular College. Football what we see is what I call the second part of my project. Which is the Golden Age Black College? Football that after war to from war which ends in one thousand nine hundred forty five to nineteen seventy. Hughes the Best College football programs in the country and I know that's hard to see when you ask your teachers who are familiar with these programs. They will tell you that there's a reason that Lsu did not wanNA play grambling. There's a reason that Florida Am University of Florida. Never got an opportunity to me because the coaches both black and white fully anticipated that the black colleges were better. So how do they become so good? Well they had these legendary coaches right and they had created this network that had I gave birth to the game and now he began to bear fruit. So coach Gaither at Florida. Idiom used to brag that you know and when it came time to recruiting. He just sent one coach down one side of the State of Florida. The other coach down the other and they would brain back all the best players in the state of Florida and they would all be rattlers and this dynamic allow for Florida and in particular to become one of the most dominant programs in the country after World War. Two and so this golden age is an important moment. This is the moment when we think about all the great players. In fact Larry. Little who will come out here and little bit is on the tail end of this. Golden Age of Black College football. This is where we Bob Hayes. Buck Buchanan right men who are in the hall of fame who were stars in age. Vcu Football and one of the reasons that we know that this was the golden age. And I make the claim. Is that the professional. Football takes notice that the Kansas City chiefs are playing in their first Super Bowl. Since nineteen seventy go. Forty niners. What you're.