Feb 28, 2023
If you’re listening to this episode around the time when it’s being released, then you’ll be listening to this right on the last day of Black History Month here in the United States. It should go without saying that Black History is American History, but we’re going to say it anyway, and that it shouldn’t be confined just to the shortest month of the year but instead should be taught to our kids every day of the year, and should be talked about by us as grownups by an equal amount. That said, it’s important also to not just be teaching our kids about the parts of Black history that are full of struggle, and in particular we’re referring to the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, which is even being called into question in states like Florida currently.
That’s exactly why we’re bringing you this episode today - where we talk about the the Negro Leagues and the history behind America’s favorite pastime - baseball - that you might not know, and probably weren’t taught in schools - in a way that Misasha’s been talking about this in schools. That’s all to say: you can talk about this with kindergarteners. You can use the materials with older kids as well. But the important takeaway here? Black history is more than just slavery and the struggle to be free. It’s about the everyday moments, the history that encompasses all of us. If we’re not teaching our kids to see Black people in these moments, then we’re really not teaching them to see Black people at all. So - let’s get into the Negro Leagues, as pitchers and catchers are reporting right now for spring training in Major League Baseball.
What to listen for:
The separate (and decidedly not equal) conditions under which Black and White ballplayers had to play
Names of some Black superstar baseball players who – if/when integrated into the Hall of Fame – would be as good or better than some of the MLB athletes we celebrate today
How to talk with your kids, from kindergarten through high school, about this specific period of baseball in American history
Episode 50, Why Aren’t Black Kids Playing Baseball?
Visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Society for AMerican Baseball Research – statistics