Archive for 'Ray Kemp'

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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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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African-Americans in Pro Football, 1897-1946

Duke Slater was a pioneer for African-Americans in pro football, but he wasn’t alone.  A handful of black athletes competed in pro football before World War II, and today, we take a look back at some of their groundbreaking achievements. African-Americans in Pro Football – Pre-NFL, 1897-1919 The National Football League was founded in 1920, but before that, several professional football teams were formed.  Without the benefit of an organized league, these teams nevertheless found competition with other nearby squads, and many played very respectable schedules. I mentioned in my profile on Frank Holbrook that he played in a semi-pro…

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