AISMS Officially Announces Launch of "African-American Experience in Major League Baseball" Research ProjectBy Dr. Daniel Durbin | 8/27/14 |
CONTACT: Neftalie Williams, Research and Development Coordinator
ANNENBERG INSTITUTE OF SPORTS, MEDIA AND SOCIETY LAUNCHES GROUNDBREAKING BASEBALL LIBRARY
LOS ANGELES, CA — The USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media & Society (AISMS) has launched “The African-American Experience in Major League Baseball,” a major research project that will create a comprehensive digital library at the University of Southern California. The collection will feature the oral histories of African-American Major League Baseball players who played in the 25 years after Major League Baseball’s color barrier was broken.
With cooperation from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the MLB Players Alumni Association, the project aims to bring a new level of understanding to the changing landscape of the civil rights movement in America. This ambitious undertaking involves connecting with African-American MLB players from the 1940s-1970s whose personal histories remain largely undocumented to this day.
“No one has fully documented this era from the players’ perspective,” said Institute Director Dr. Daniel Durbin. “These athletes have a unique perspective on playing in the South during Jim Crow, dealing with open racism inside and outside of baseball, and playing on American sport’s largest stage during the changes of the 1960s and 1970s. As they age and die, their stories are being lost forever. We want to preserve those stories for future generations.”
AISMS has already filmed interviews with notable players such as James “Mudcat” Grant, Ollie Brown, Al Downing and Dusty Baker. Highlights from these interviews are available upon request.
The digital library will be preserved and maintained at the University of Southern California under the supervision of researchers, librarians and preservationists. In the future it will be available as a resource to scholars and professionals.
If you have any information on players who meet these qualifications, please contact Neftalie Williams at [email protected]
The USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media and Society (AISMS) seeks to advance and enrich the study and practice of sports communication at the intersection of sports and culture in media. AISMS is a platform for academic research, professional development, community outreach, and international programs focused on sports and their impact on culture through media. For more information on AISMS, please visit http://annenberg.usc.edu/aisms.