Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

A moving lesson in history

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is one of the most educational and inspirational places ever. I walked throughout the first few sections of the museum and noticed a stadium at the center of the building.

With bronze statues of some of the greatest Negro League players watching over them, children of all races were running around and playing together. The laughter from the children echoed throughout the venue and I couldn’t help but feel joyous, thankful and a bit disappointed.

I was disappointed because I think about the current climate of our society and realized that despite the fact that we’ve come a long way, there are still things we have to sort out.

Despite the disappointment I felt, a patron named Rhonda Hall, who I met at the gift shop, gave me some hope. Rhonda, who is white was at the NLBM with her family, although being from Kansas City, it was her first time visiting the museum.

Hall said that despite there being a lot of progress in America right now, she said she was disappointed with some of the ways that people still act and have a closed mind.

“Some cultures are unwilling to look at life from a different perspective,” Hall said.

Along with Hall was her 7-year-old nephew who she said was very interested in learning about the Negro Leagues. She also said it was important to her to show her nephew that there were times when people weren’t as friendly to minorities.

“I’m glad to share that with him and let him know that some people aren’t accepting of other cultures and some people refuse to change their ways and are stubborn. Hopefully we can raise a better generation.”

I am thankful today for many reasons, one being that we can honor these great athletes. Thankful to have learned at the museum and thankful to be in a position to raise and teach the next generation through advocacy.

The NLBM for me was life changing. I am still in awe of it.

-Angel Franco