Where sports and civil rights meet

October 28, 2013 8:45 AM

Greg Thomson

Acclaimed author Samuel G. Freedman will speak at the Lavin-Bernick Center on Tuesday (Oct. 29), about the role college football played in the history of civil rights.


Samuel G. Freedman speaks at Tulane on Tuesday (Oct.29).

Freedman’s latest book Breaking the Line tells the story of Louisiana’s Grambling College and Florida A&M as the two college football programs that competed for the 1967 black college championship.

Ultimately, the teams compelled segregated colleges to integrate and brought rise to conversations about whether African Americans could be quarterbacks in the NFL, act as head coaches or work with professional teams as general managers.

Carolyn Barber-Pierre, assistance vice-president for student affairs, says the event is timely as Tulane commemorates the 50th anniversary of its desegregation.

“It is important to celebrate the changes that made us all feel included and a part of society,” says Barber-Pierre, who also is director of the Tulane Office of Multicultural Affairs. “Race issues are touchy, but they are always necessary.”

Freedman is an award-winning author of seven books, a columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University.

The presentation is part of his national book tour and is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall and is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Greg Thomson is a junior at Tulane studying communication.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu