Archive for 'Paul Robeson'

The EPIX network recently released a documentary entitled “Forgotten Four: The Integration of Pro Football.” This documentary detailed how Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley re-integrated pro football in 1946 after a 12-year NFL ban on African-American players. The documentary is, as I expected, a colossal disappointment on so many levels. I guess that means I’m in overall agreement with Variety, which called the documentary “unexpectedly forgettable” and described it as follows: “It’s such a stiff, by-the-numbers approach that ‘Forgotten Four’ provides little insight, feeling like the Hallmark Cards version of an HBO or ESPN ‘30 for…

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African-Americans in Big Ten Football, 1890-1963

Recently we took a look back at black pioneers of Hawkeye football.  No other football program in the Big Ten – or in Division I-A football – can claim such an extensive a list of early African-American standouts.  Still, every Big Ten football program has one or more racial trailblazers worthy of being remembered. Unfortunately, a comprehensive list of African-Americans in Big Ten football from the pre-World War II era has never been compiled.  It’s only recently that schools have seen fit to list and commemorate these pioneers.  I wasn’t able to find a list of African-American football standouts for…

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Random Hash

Hard to believe that this is the tenth installment of Random Hash! February is moving right along, so let’s make this post a Black History Month batch of hash. Third and Long: History of African-Americans in Pro Football Readers of this site know by now how frustrated I get at how disregarded Duke Slater often is today. Slater’s place as an African-American sports pioneer is constantly downplayed or overlooked, which is maddening to me. In a recent post, I reviewed the African-American trailblazers of professional football – specifically the 13 African-Americans who played in the NFL before World War II….

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