At some point in most American life experiences, the term “good sport” has been casually tossed about in some show of complimentary fashion. America is a decidedly firm country of sports enthusiasts (this is perhaps a generously-worded understatement), and phraseology related to athletic endeavors is commonly used to explain or outline all manner of life events (especially at corporate team building seminars). To call someone a “good sport” is a simple way of praising their humble or laidback attitude in the face of a loss – or perhaps a mildly humiliating Youtube prank. But this seemingly unfussy phrase changes completely when applied to those whose life trials carry an actual socially significant gravitas. For those men who faced daily racial inequality for the proverbial “love of the game”, the role of being a Good Sportsman is profound, indeed.
Highlighting these pioneering sports-players, the Louisville Free Public Library recently opened the exhibition “Pride & Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience”, recognizing the black baseball players who challenged racial segregation with a combination of homeruns and determination. In conjunction with this new exhibit, professor of history Dr. Bruce Tyler will speak tonight on the societal effects of racial segregation with the presentation “Separate, Not Equal: The Ideology of Racial Segregation in America”. Join him at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch at 7pm as race relations, history and professional baseball all converge in a snapshot of the American story.
Complimenting Tyler’s discussions points, “Pride & Passion” offers a visual account of African-American sportsmen as they confronted numerous challenges both on and off the field of “America’s Pastime”. A nationally-travelling exhibition also featuring a number of artifacts from the Louisville Slugger Museum collection, “Pride & Passion” documents the black struggle for equal opportunities within the sports community beginning with the post-Civil War era through the eventual integration of major league players in the mid 20th century.
Catch Dr. Bruce Tyler at tonight’s free presentation, follow the timeline and appreciate the weight of truly being a “good sport”.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street.
For more information about tonight’s discussion, visit the event page.
Image: Courtesy of Louisville Free Public Library website www.lfpl.org