Negro Leagues

Recent Articles

Recognition of early ‘Black Fives’ players long overdue

The NCAA this year is celebrating 75 years of March Madness. Before it became an overhyped trademark, and before it became a behemoth cash cow for everyone but the players, the annual tourney for decades was a White-only affair. The celebrating hoopla shouldn’t overlook this fact. Claude Johnson founded the Greenwich, Conn.-based Black Fives Foundation in 2001. It is named for the number of Black players on the court and the basketball league of the same name that ran for nearly 50 years (1904-1950), at least three decades before the Negro Leagues. It also was a clear affront to the racially segregated unwritten rule that limited the number of players of color allowed on the court  (two at home, one on the road), a rule that existed in the NBA, its forerunner the National Basketball League, and in college hoops well into the 1960s. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Rondo resident’s pioneer athletic efforts recognized

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Marcenia Lyle Stone was born July 17, 1921 in St. Paul. She played on the local boys’ baseball teams despite her parents’ objections. Reportedly, they wanted their little girl to focus as much or even more on her studies as on athletics. Nonetheless, Stone excelled in several sports, but baseball was her first love. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Rondo history takes spotlight at history center

 

 
Program recreates Black neighborhood of past for MN youth
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

Minnesota History Center Program Assistant Dwight Scott often uses in his classes a former resident’s quote that every time she drives on Interstate 94, “I feel like I’m driving over my bedroom.”

“This was a story that [Interstate 94] was a neighborhood before all this was there,” notes Scott on the construction of the freeway that led to the devastation of the once-vibrant Rondo neighborhood that during the 1930s was the heart of St. Paul’s Black community. Rondo had “a different kind of vibrant activity there…a sense of camaraderie among different races,” says Scott. It is featured in “Uncovering Rondo” as part of the History Center’s “Neighborhood Access Initiative” educational program for youngsters to learn about their neighborhoods while visiting the center. Scott says today’s youngsters are often surprised when they learn that the freeway wasn’t always there. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

St. Paul native spearheads projects highlighting Black achievement — Rondo, Toni Stone, Jimmy Lee, Dred Scott left imprint on Minnesota history

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Black folk and their accomplishments in Minnesota too often have been overlooked or undervalued, believes Frank White. For several years now White has been working on several civic projects to spotlight historic accomplishments of local Blacks. “I think what I’ve learned is growing up here in Minnesota, we [Blacks] kind of knew our place where we lived in the Rondo neighborhood,” says White in a recent interview at the MSR. “I really didn’t know why we couldn’t go way over there [and] I never questioned that. “Probably the biggest thing I learned is that Minnesota was a very biased state,” continues White. “On one hand, it was accepting of people but on another hand, Jim Crow and bias definitely was here, as it is today.”

White grew up listening to how the experiences of Blacks in the South differed from those in the North. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,