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Lecture on the integration of professional football on January 30

Lecture on the integration of professional football on January 30



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Charles K. Ross is a professor of history and African American studies at the University of Mississippi.

Charles K. Ross, professor of history and African American studies and interim chair at the University of Mississippi, will present “State of the Game: The NFL’s Struggle for Integration on and Off the Field” as Department of HistoryTimothy Donovan Lecturer in 2023 on Monday, January 30 at 6:00 PM in Giffels Auditorium in Old Main.

As the Super Bowl approaches, Ross will explore the fraught racial history of the nation’s most popular sport and how concerted activism by black players helped fundamentally change the game. Among the key topics are the integration of sports; Black struggles to get opportunities on the field, especially at quarterback; and the limited number of opportunities extended to African Americans as head coaches.

The lecture builds on Ross’ distinguished career as one of the foremost historians of black players’ efforts to combat racial discrimination in professional football. His first book is Beyond the Boundaries: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League — was published by New York University Press in 1999, and his second — Money, Mavericks and People: The AFL, Black Players and the Evolution of Modern Football (Temple University Press, 2016) – examines how players used the emergence of the NFL’s archrival during the upheavals of the 1960s to change the sport and improve racial and labor conditions.

Ross received a BA in History from Stillman College, an MA in Black Studies and History from Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in history from Ohio State. In addition to his two monographs edited by Race and sport: the fight for equality on and off the fieldwhich was published by the University of Mississippi Press in 2004. He has appeared on various ESPN documentaries, including 30 for 30 and Outside the Lines.

The Donovan Lecture Series is named after Timothy Donovan, former professor and chair of the history department at American University. The series brought leading historians to campus. This event is sponsored by the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Department of History.



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