Avila University Negro Leagues and The American Society Discussion



Avila University

Question Description

Screen the provided materials, videos, and as well your own research to examine the importance of the Negro Leagues to African American society and culture. Then answer the following discussion questions:

  1. In the 1870s and throughout the 1880s, black baseball players actually played alongside white baseball players on professional teams. Why do you think it became necessary for black players to form their own baseball league?
  2. According to USA Today Sports, there were only 68 African Americans out of a total of 882 players in Major League Baseball on opening day rosters in 2019. Eleven teams didn’t have more than a single African American player on their 25-player roster. Three teams didn’t have any African American players on the roster.How does the NLBM and Negro League Baseball history fit with the American experience today given that there are fewer African American players playing in the MLB than has existed in the 1970’s, 80s, and 90s.

3. The Negro Leagues’ East-West All-Star Game, with its combination of celebrity athletes, musicians, actors and notable figures, singularly brought together the worlds of sports, media and popular culture. Where and how do we see this happening in 2020?

4. Mami “Peanut” Johnson was one of three women (along with Toni Stone and Connie Morgan who played in the Negro Leagues. Johnson was particularly good, pitching three years for the Indianapolis Clowns and serving as one of the original trailblazers for women in sports. Who are the female trailblazers today? Katie Sowers (49ers asst. coach), Alyssa Nakken (SF Giants coach), Jessica Mendoza (NY Mets front office advisor), US Women’s Soccer Team, etc.?Explain why you feel these and others are or why they should not be considered trailblazers.

Negro Leagues Online Resources


  • Today Show - Feb 2020 clip - good intro on 100th anniversary, includes interview with Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron On The Negro Leagues: ‘There Was So Much Talent’ | TODAY (Links to an external site.)Hank Aaron On The Negro Leagues: ‘There Was So Much Talent’ | TODAY

Duration: 4:32

  • Discovering Greatness, ep. 193 - visit to the NLBM, clips showing the museum and featuring Bob speaking

Ep. 193 - "Discovering Greatness" (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum) (Links to an external site.)Ep. 193 - "Discovering Greatness" (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum)

Duration: 8:21

  • Audio only, but great content - interview with Bob, KCBX Public Radio (Feb 2020) - Bob shares how the negro leagues formed, talks about the cultural crossroads of 18th & Vine with jazz and baseball -- story of economic empowerment, discusses why this is such an important story to share

https://www.kcbx.org/post/journeys-discovery-national-negro-leagues-baseball-celebrates-100th-anniversary#stream/0 (Links to an external site.)

Duration: 14:56


The Undefeated, Feb 2020: “Rube Foster was the big man behind the first successful Negro baseball league.”

https://theundefeated.com/features/rube-foster-was-the-big-man-behind-the-first-successful-negro-baseball-league/ (Links to an external site.)

  • Offers good background on the league’s founding in KC, the larger-than-life figure Rube Foster, and important takeaway for our class -- how the negro leagues used baseball as a means for economic empowerment and pride in the black community

The Undefeated, July 2016: “Pots & Pans: Baseball Has Always Had Black All-Stars”

https://theundefeated.com/features/pots-pans-baseball-has-always-had-black-all-stars/ (Links to an external site.)

NPR: “Remembering D.C. Negro Leagues Legend, Mami ‘Peanut’ Johnson

Feb 2020 article

https://www.npr.org/local/305/2020/02/13/805611719/remembering-d-c-negro-leagues-legend-mamie-peanut-johnson (Links to an external site.)

Baseball Demographics:

https://sabr.org/bioproj/topic/baseball-demographics-1947-2012 (Links to an external site.)

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Explanation & Answer

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Running head: NEGRO LEAGUES


Negro Leagues and the American Society


Negro Leagues and the American Society

Why it became necessary for black players to form their own baseball league
In the periods between 1970 and 1890, black players and white players in the
professional baseball leagues played alongside each other. However, towards the end of the 19th
century, black players were excluded from the national professional league competitions. At the
time, racism in the United States was rising, and many top professional black baseball players
were not being called to play for the national baseball teams. Specifically, it was in 1888 when
the last season, a black player was invited to play for any professional baseball team in the
United States. Even before 1888, ...

PNFVZVE (29278)

Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.

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