* Announcement: Lecture series on Black Baseball

June 10, 2009

Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience

All events are free and open to the public. Events will be held in the Veterans Room of the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake Street, Oak Park IL unless noted elsewhere.

May 10 – June 30 in Library Gallery: Stephen Green, an Oak Park resident and official photographer for the Chicago Cubs for 26 years, presents a photo exhibit “Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs.” Open seven days a week during regular Library hours.

Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m.: Sports scholar Jim Coates from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay presents “Playing for fun: Humorous Stories from the Negro League.” Former Negro League pitcher Johnny “Lefty” Washington who played for the Chicago American Giants and Houston Eagles will join Jim Coates to share stories.

Sunday, June 14, at 2 p.m.: Pride and Passion Film Festival hosted by John Allen.
“The Sixth Inning: The National Pastime.” from Ken Burn’s series, Baseball.

Wednesday, June 17, at 1 p.m.: Join Chicago author William Brashler for a discussion of The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings, published in 1973. Brashler’s novel was made into a movie in 1976.

Wednesday, June 17, from 4 to 5 p.m. Kids Book Discussion at Maze Branch Library. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball with words and paintings by Kadir Nelson. The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of triumphs and defeats both on and off the field.

Sunday, June 21, at 2 p.m.: Pride and Passion Film Festival hosted by John Allen.

The Court Martial of Jackie Robinson. Directed by Larry Peerce. (1990). 120 minutes.

Thursday, June 25, at 7 p.m.: Negro League Scholar Leslie A. Heaphy, PhD, Kent State University, Canton, Ohio.

Heaphy authored The Negro Leagues, 1869-1960, published by Farland Publishing Co. in 2003. She earned her PhD from the University of Todedo with her dissertation titled“Shadowed Diamonds: The Growth and Decline of the Negro Leagues from the 1860s to 1960“.  She has been involved in many publications including Satchel Paige and Company and Black Baseball and Chicago: Essays on the Players, Teams, and Games of the Negro League’s Most Important City.

Saturday, June 27, at 2 p.m.: Dr. J. B. Martin IV will present “Making the Case for J. B. Martin, Sr.: Why He Should Be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.”

Martin, a pharmacist from Memphis, created the Memphis Red Sox team and built a stadium. After going against Memphis political boss E. H. “Boss” Crump in a presidential election, Martin was forced to leave the Blues City and relocate to the Windy City. The Meharry Medical College graduate became owner of the Chicago American Giants in the early 1940s and later became president of the Negro American league. He served until the league filed for dissolution in 1960.

Sunday, June 28, at 2 p.m.: Pride and Passion Film Festival hosted by John Allen.

The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars & Motor Kings directed by John Badham. (1976). This film, based on the book by the same title by William Brashler, stars Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones and Richard Pryor.

For more information, visit the Library’s website.

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  • Oak Park Public Library is the only library in Illinois that will host “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience in 2009-2010. We have some wonderful scholars, an author and a series of films still coming up this month. Please come visit us if you are nearby.

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