Viewing page 8 of 11



[[image - black & white photograph of baseball game]]
[[caption]] BASEBALL--A SWIFT CURVE [[/caption]]

remedied with wide awake association officers to keep behind the captains.  Another reason for the poor spirit in hockey is, that the game has not received as much boosting as others.  But with only two well-organized teams competing hockey could be made almost as fascinating as football on the campus.

Are you lovers of the great out-of-door frolics, willing to make them successful another term?

A Review of Negro Athletics

In reviewing the history of the Negro, one finds much to be proud of in his athletic record.  Our people are so widely scattered over this country that one section probably knows very little of the achievements of the other.  Their activities are as many and as varied as any other class of citizens.  It is the aim of the writer to bring before you the achievements of colored athletes during the last decade.  We believe it would be a source of knowledge to the older ones, inspiration to the younger ones, and pride to all to know these achievements.

Since we are going to deal primarily with amateur athletics, we will confine ourselves almost wholly to those members of our race who have attended universities and colleges throughout the country, and who, from their constant association with other races, are creating a feeling of comradeship and better understanding. The boys who are making these records are confined to no particular section of the country. Many of them come from Southern schools and not only make enviable records for themselves in competition, but return to their Alma Maters and are equally successful in the development of other athletes. A recitation of the difficulties and some of the privations experienced by these boys and some of the results attained, sounds more like fiction than real life. The old adage, that you get out of the game what you put in it, is as true in athletics as in any other line of endeavor.

Permit me to cite a few of the outstanding features of Negro athletes' achievements in the last few years:

An eminent sportswriter said, in 1913, that if the colored track athletes - competing at the time - could be brought back together and[[/column 2]]

[[end page]]
[[start page]]



a team chosen from them, it would be strong enough to defeat any college team or athletic club in the United States, and would have taken at least two-thirds of the first places. In 1915, a half-mile relay team chosen from the colored sprinters competing at that time - could have defeated any relay team in the world, and have set a new World's Record, as each man could do better than 22 seconds in the 220.

There is one class of events to which the Negro seems particularly adapted and that is the sprints. There are many reasons for this, chief among which is the fact that the Negro is of a nervous and excitable temperament, a requisite primarily essential in a sprinter; also a less rigorous and exacting course of training is necessary in this class of events than in others, and finally, it was in this class of events that Negros first made a success, and this inspired others to try the same. In fact, all the records in running races held by our people are confined to races not greater than a quarter mile.

There has been no time in the past ten years when there has not been a colored athlete as member of some collage team in the United States, and as a point winner. They have secured points in every intercollegiate or national meet in the country, and they hold no less than thirty Collegiate National A. A. U. and World's Records. There is one goal, however, which they have not attained, and this is an Olympic Championship. This is the ambition of every track athlete. We have had members of an Olympic Team, but we have never had a winner, although we have had men who have beaten Olympic winners. However, in the Inter-Allied Games in France, June 1919, which was a Semi-Olympic Meet, we had a winner in the broad jump, and in winning it he came within two inches of the World's Record.

Heretofore we have dealt largely with track athletes, but there are other branchesof athletics in which the Negro has proven his ability beyond a doubt, and has gained the highest honors. 

There is no branch of athletics that commands the admiration of the public more than football. The highest award possible is to be placed on Walter Camp's All American Football Team. Two Negroes have achieved this distinction and at least a half-dozen others have been second and third choices, and the indication is that this number will constantly increase.

Then there is basketball which also has a strong appeal for our people. As yet there is no recognized authority rating basketball players each year as in football and track. So we are not justified in comparing the relative merits of the colored basketball players with those of other races. However, we have many representatives on the college and university teams of the country who have been recognized as stars on their respective teams. In addition to this, we are represented by entire teams both in our Southern schools and in athletic clubs in New York, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburg, Kansas City, and Des Moines, Iowa.

Another sport of which we do not hear so much but in which many of our people are finding much pleasure and enjoyment, is tennis. Last year, for the first time, colored tennis players of the country have been officially rated. Washington, D. C., seems to lead in the number of people engaged in this sport and in the amount of enthusiasm shown; however, there are other cities having tennis clubs ranking very high, among which are Los Angeles, Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, and Springfield, Mass.

As for baseball, since it is a professional sport, and our reputation as baseball players is so well recognized, the writer feels that it is superfluous to dwell at length on this subject. One of the outstanding features is that, beginning this year, we shall have an

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact