Sports Journalism Institute

Helping women and minorities get into newsrooms since 1993

Putting it into perspective

The current socio-cultural climate in the United States is one of discord. From many corners of American society, — socially and politically — a narrative of racial and social unrest reigns.

I am not saying that these things did not exist before, but in 2018 one would not expect to see a return to such blatant forms of ideology that marked our segregated past.

Nevertheless, our trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum brought all of this into perspective for me.

Before me was not only the history of a sport and its growth from segregation to integration, but a representative history of our nation as a whole and the legacy of racial exclusion.

Gazing over the names and artifacts, I was amazed by the stories of former black baseball greats. It soon became hard for me to conceptualize why their talent and skill was not accepted among those of their white counterparts and their proven ability to play at the same level competitively with that of whites, their skin was simply the deciding factor.

And then it hit me.

Even in a sport, a place of recreation, we were not able to escape these legacies. Because sadly, it’s a part of who we are.

–Andre Toran