This week marks the 70th anniversary of the Birmingham Black Barons’ appearance in what would become the last Negro League World Series ever played. The 1948 team was considered the greatest Black Barons team of all-time and was made up of legends like Bill Greason. Greason was a pitcher who broke the color barrier with the Oklahoma City Indians and later played briefly in the Major League. The 94-year-old tells WBHM’s Janae Pierre about that final Negro League World Series against the Washington Homestead Grays.
The Smithsonian Magazine has its 14th annual “Museum Day” this Saturday. That means free admission to thousands of museums around the country. Here in Birmingham, one participating museum—Vulcan Park & Museum—is putting a twist on the Smithsonian’s them: Women Making History. Casey Gamble is Vulcan’s museum coordinator. She tells WBHM’s Janae Pierre how they plan to incorporate Rosie the Riveter for this year’s event.
Alabama native, Jesse Lewis Sr. is recognized as a publishing and marketing trailblazer in the South. In the early 50s, Lewis founded the first minority-owned public relations firm in the U.S. His very first client was the Birmingham Coca Cola Bottling Company. With their support, Lewis founded the Birmingham Times in 1964. For most of his career, he focused on marketing to African American consumers, a demographic he says was completely ignored during that time. The 93 year old was recently recognized among Black PR Pioneers at the Museum of Public Relations in New York.
Segregation shut out ballplayers like James “Jake” Sanders from ballparks and the major leagues, but it didn’t quell his passion for the game. He attended the same high school in Fairfield as Willie Mays and went on to star in the Negro League. These days, Sanders travels the country telling the history of the league to school kids so the stories don’t get lost.
Listen to Alabama politicians talk about education and you’ll hear about workforce development. They say schools should focus on math and science to help industry grow. There’s less emphasis on music or literature. That concerns John Parrish Peede. The Mississippi native became chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities earlier this year.
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