Pride & Passion brochure

Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience

May 1 - June 11, 2010
Central Library Exhibition

Black baseball players, shut out of the major leagues in the late 19th century, organized their own baseball clubs, and starting in the 1920s, formed their own leagues. This exhibition tells the story of Negro League baseball and how it grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and became the focus of great pride in the African American community. Players like Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and James “Cool Papa” Bell, and teams like the Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Monarchs, St. Louis Stars, and Pittsburgh Crawfords drew enthusiastic crowds, developed a reputation for a fast-running, power-hitting game, and paved the way for the integration of the sport.
Schedule and Resources

baseball  Events
baseball BPL Media
baseball Bibliography
baseball Websites
Local Connection:
Birmingham Black Barons

Photographs, Articles, Recordings


May 5, 12:00 p.m.
Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience
(Arrington Auditorium)

Larry Lester—Negro League scholar and co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri—will discuss the Pride and Passion exhibit and the cultural significance and legacy of the Birmingham Black Barons on the African American community in a deeply segregated society.

May 6, 6:30 p.m.
Opening Reception
(Central's Atrium)
Larry Lester, Negro League scholar, researcher and co-founder of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri will speak at 7 p.m.

May 8, 2:30 p.m.
Film Series
(Arrington Auditorium)

A movie version of the story of three well-known and beloved Negro League players—Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, and Josh Gibson—as they play and fight to change the course of baseball history.

May 11, 6:30 p.m
BPL@Night Presents Dr. Larry Powell
(Arrington Auditorium)

Dr. Larry Powell discusses his book Black Barons of Birmingham: The South’s Greatest Negro League Team and its Players. Differing from other books on the subject, Dr. Powell covers the history of the Negro Leagues in general, and also provides a detailed account of the Black Barons. Members of the Negro League Baseball Players Association will attend the discussion. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

May 12, 12:00 p.m.
Only the Ball Was White

(Arrington Auditorium)

This documentary film pays tribute to the talent and bravery of baseball players in the Negro Leagues. Between the years 1920 and 1947—until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers—the players and teams were a source of tremendous pride for African Americans in a deeply segregated country and helped pave the way to integrated sports.

May 15, 2:30 p.m.
Film Series
(Arrington Auditorium)

An in-depth and riveting documentary with first-hand accounts of what it was like to play in the Negro Leagues. Interviews with players leave viewers stunned at the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of these trailblazing baseball players.

May 19, 12:00 p.m.
Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend
(Arrington Auditorium)

In Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, award-winning author and journalist Larry Tye untangles myth from truth about this flawed yet majestic man. The author will discuss Paige’s role in the Negro League as a self-promoter, a champion for higher pay for his teammates, as a bit of a subversive, and as a sometimes overlooked key player in the integration of baseball.

May 22, 2:30 p.m.
Film Series
(Arrington Auditorium)

A sly and humorous take on a team in the Negro Leagues as it barnstormed the mid-west in the 1930’s in hopes of overcoming its tyrannical team owner. Stars Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, and Richard Pryor.

May 26, 12:00 p.m.
The Real Life and Times in the Negro Leagues
(Arrington Auditorium)
What was life really like on the road and at home for the Negro League player? Find out first-hand when we hear from the players themselves. More to follow on this!

June 2, 12:00 p.m. (Rescheduled June 30)
Negro League Baseball and the Black Community
(Arrington Auditorium)

Dr. Richard Megraw, University of Alabama American Studies professor, will discuss the Negro Leagues and their importance in the formation of African American identity and the civil rights struggle.

June 5, 2:30 p.m.
Film Series
(Arrington Auditorium)
James Earl Jones narrates this award winning documentary highlighting some of the greatest players in the history of Negro League baseball. Showcases the players’ technical expertise and shows great sensitivity to the subject matter. Includes interviews with Cool Papa Bell, Jimmie Crutchfield, and Ted Page.

June 9, 12:00 p.m.
Live from Cooperstown!
(Arrington Auditorium)

Never been to Cooperstown? Now is your chance to take a virtual tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Via live teleconference with staff from Cooperstown, we will tour the permanent Pride and Passion exhibit at the Hall of Fame. Don’t miss the trip!

National Baseball Hall of Fame logo     National Endowment For The Humanities logo     American Library Association logo    Alabama Humanities Foundation
Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience, a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, New York, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, Chicago. The traveling exhibition has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life.

The traveling exhibition is based on an exhibition of the same name on permanent display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Additional funding provided by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
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