“Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” a national traveling exhibition that chronicles the remarkable history of baseball’s Negro leagues and the challenges and successes of African-American baseball players, opened at Central Library, 9501 Lori Road, on Nov. 10, and will be available to the public during normal library hours until Wednesday, Dec. 19.
In the 1880s, more than 30 African-Americans were on teams in baseball’s major and minor leagues. But during the 1887 season, league owners agreed to make no new contracts with African-American players. From that time on, until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, baseball was a segregated sport. By the 1920s, black baseball had its own successful professional leagues. Legendary figures such as Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, James “Cool Papa” Bell and Satchel Paige barnstormed around the country for decades, thrilling audiences with a fast-running, power-hitting style of play. Negro league baseball grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and a focus of great pride in the African-American community.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Chesterfield County Public Library is presenting a series of free programs at Central Library this November and December.
The Negro League: Dandy, Day, Jud and Pete
Saturday, Dec. 1, 11 a.m.-noon
Join Trenton E. Hizer, private papers archivist from the Library of Virginia, as he talks about four Virginia-born Hall of Fame players. These players played fierce baseball from the Negro League through the integration of the major league in 1947.
A question and answer session will follow the program. This is a family-friendly program.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life.
Registration is recommended for the program, and begins two weeks prior to the event. For more information, or to register, call 804-751-2275, or ask at any library branch.