Civil Rights in the '60s: Basketball and Race Relations

December 4, 2008 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

On the court they were idolized, but off the boards these legendary NBA players suffered the same humiliations as many of their African-American contemporaries. “Being an athlete did not inoculate you,” said New York Knicks All-Star Dick Barnett, who went on to earn a Ph.D. in education at Fordham University. “And you were not immune to what every other black man in America was subject to.” At a Graduate Center panel, “Civil Rights in the ’60s: Basketball and Race Relations,” Barnett joined Boston Celtics great Thomas “Satch” Sanders; Detroit Pistons Hall of Fame shooting guard Dave Bing and Knicks-Baltimore Bullets star Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, co-producer of “Black Magic,” an acclaimed ESPN documentary about players and coaches at historically black colleges.
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