We are pleased and honored to host the travelling exhibition “Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience” at our Main branch from March 19 to April 29.
The official kickoff event for the exhibition is Saturday, March 19 at 3:30 pm at historic Optimist Park located at 703 Oakwood Avenue in Huntsville. Baseball historian and author Joe Formichella will be the guest speaker. This event is free and open to the public.
The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library is one of only 25 libraries in the United States selected to host the traveling exhibition, which was organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, N.Y., and the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, Chicago.
Based upon original documents, photos and artifacts in the collections of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and other institutions across the United States, the exhibition examines the remarkable story of how African-American baseball players in the late 19th century, shut out of major league baseball, formed their own professional leagues and barnstormed around the country, playing an exciting style of fast-running and power-hitting baseball that attracted huge audiences. Negro league players such as Rube Foster, Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, James “Cool Papa” Bell and Satchel Paige became famous, and black teams such as the Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Monarchs, St. Louis Stars, Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays were a focus of pride for the African-American community. The exhibition also looks at the career of Jackie Robinson, who broke the 20th-century color barrier in baseball and led the way to integrated teams in the 1950s.
The “Pride and Passion” traveling exhibition is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH): great ideas brought to life. The traveling exhibition is based upon a permanent exhibition on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. For more information, please visit http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/index.jsp