Interracial football | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 26, 2009

Interracial football

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 6:15 AM

The NY Times has an interesting feature this morning on the 40th anniversary (only 40 years have passed) since what was described as the first interracial collegiate football game in the South. It matched black Florida A&M against Tampa. A&M won.

I probably should just call Jim Bailey, but historians here probably can remember:

* The first time the UA played an opposing team with a black player.

* The first black player to play in an otherwise white Arkansas high school game.

* The first black coach of an integrated Arkansas high school football team.

* UAPB's first game against a white opponent.

I'm pretty sure, though it was before my time, that the first black player to play on the field for the UA was Jon Richardson, memorably recalled in an article on the historic moment by the late E. Lynn Harris, who later became the UA's first black cheerleader. Quite a bit of Hog deseg history here, too, in Terry Frei's great book on "Horns, Hogsand Nixon Coming: Texas v. Arkansas in Dixie's Last Stand." A caller insists he remembers walk-on Darrell Brown seeing action in a varsity game before Richardson, but Frei's book says Brown played only for the freshman team.

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