INTEGRATING BASEBALL TEAMS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS. In Steven Goldman’s article, there is a photo and a story about each player who was the first black player for one of the 16 original franchises. After the color line was broken by Jackie Robinson, there were a series of color lines in baseball and there was resistance to breaching each of them. Over the 12 years it took to accomplish integration, each of these players faced the stress and loneliness that came with being a pioneer.
Similarly there were a lot of institutions in the country with color lines and gender lines and somebody had to go first to breach that line. There are a lot of stories and few have been told.
We saw a good movie this summer—From the Rough—which told one of those stories (see this wikipedia entry on the movie). It starred Teraji P. Henson as Catana Starks, a black woman who who became the first woman ever to coach a college men’s golf team. This citation for The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame honors her accomplishments. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough halls of fame to honor everyone who went first.