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Pride & Passion
The African American Baseball Experience

Baseball autographed by KC Monarchs 1924

March 28 – May 11, 2012
Illinois State University
Milner Library

Exhibit Hours:
9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
Saturday & Sunday: Noon – 5:00 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.
For event contact information and to schedule a group tour contact
Chad Kahl
Phone: (309) 438-3454
FAX: (309) 438-3676
Special thanks to the Friends of Milner Library

Milner Library will host a traveling panel exhibit entitled “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” a national traveling exhibition which chronicles the remarkable history of baseball’s Negro leagues and the challenges and successes of African-American baseball players. In the 1880s, more than 30 African Americans were on teams in baseball’s major and minor leagues. But during the 1887 season, league owners agreed to make no new contracts with African-American players. From that time on, until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, baseball was a segregated sport. By the 1920s, black baseball had its own successful professional leagues. Legendary figures such as Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, James “Cool Papa” Bell and Satchel Paige barnstormed around the country for decades, thrilling audiences with a fast-running, power-hitting style of play. Negro league baseball grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and a focus of great pride in the African-American community.

Press coverage
"Milner Library scores Negro League exhibit" - Pantagraph (3/22/12)
"Edible books, African-American baseball shows at ISU" - WJBC (3/24/12)
"'Pride and Passion' to be exhibited at Milner" - Vidette (3/25/12)
"Baseball History" - Illinois State University TV10 (4/2/12)
"African American Baseball Experience" - Pantagraph (4/13/12)

Event photos available online.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the American Library Association Public Programs Office organized the exhibit with the help of a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life.  Exhibit final report is available.

Baseball Hall of Fame LogoALA logoNEH logo

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Milner Library
Campus Box 8900
201 North School St.
Normal, Il 61790-8900
Phone: 309.438.3451

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Last Updated: 8/16/12