PRESERVING HISTORY & LEGACIES
A 2020 TimeLine:
Some of the highlights and low lights of a year in uncertainty as it affected the Black college world. Like the rest of the world, they faced the devastating effects of the pandemic which caused a reset and creativity among the school programs. We choose six events that brought changes to the landscape.
A CELEBRATION of BLACK COLLEGE HISTORY in SPORTS
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Jack Forsyth "Cy" McClairen
(Mar. 2, 1931 – Dec. 28, 2020) Bethune Cookman University
THIS MONTH IN HISTORY
1947 FIRST BLACK COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAME played in the State of California…Wilberforce University Bulldogs defeated the Prairie View Panthers, 26-0
JAN. 12, 1950 MARYLAND STATE lost to DARTMOUTH, 60-59 in the first meeting between an Ivy League school and Black College basketball teams
Jan. 16, 1956 FIRST INTERRACIAL BASKETBALL GAMES held in Nashville, TN…Teams participating: FISK, TENNESSEE STATE, NORTH DAKOTA STATE and ROCKHURST COLLEGE
Jan. 25, 1979 FIRST BLACK COLLEGE ALL-STAR FOOTBALL GAME held in New Orleans Superdome
Ref-ing the Game
Emmett Ashford, Major League Baseball
Ken Hudson, NBA first Black referee
Burl Toler, NFL field judge/ head linesman
Bettye McClendon, Pioneer official
African Americans have made an impact as members of major sports officiating crews (baseball, basketball and football). Many former Historically Black college players and alumni have carved out impressive careers. The very first umpire in baseball was the highly respected Emmett Ashford, who also refereed Pac-8 basketball and football games.
Ken Hudson was the first full-time African American referee in the NBA. Burl A. Toler Sr. was the first in the National Football League and spent 25 seasons (1965 -1989) as a field judge and head linesman. Bettye J. McClendon was the first woman to officiate in a men’s college game (Clark Atlanta and Morris Brown College), the Women’s Olympic Trials, and in the Women’s American Basketball Association Pro League.
TOday, there are more than forty African American officials in major league sports today.