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Integrating the Gridiron Lesson Plan . UAC Teaching American History February 6, 2013. Sugar Bowl Controversy Summary.

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integrating the gridiron lesson plan

Integrating the Gridiron Lesson Plan

UAC Teaching American History

February 6, 2013

sugar bowl controversy summary
Sugar Bowl Controversy Summary
  • 1956 Sugar Bowl Controversy was the first integrated Sugar Bowl. It involved Georgia Tech v. the University of Pittsburgh. Bobby Grier (University of Pitt) was the first black player to participate. Georgia’s governor Griffin openly opposed Georgia Tech participating in an integrated sports event. Georgia Tech’s regents decided to allow the team to participate anyway. Georgia Tech won the game, 7-0 with a questionable call/penalty against Grier. This was the first Sugar Bowl that also allowed an integrated press box. The stands were also integrated with no race restrictions on tickets.
  • 1898 Plessyv. Fergusson: Supreme Court upholds segregation, “separate but equal”
  • 1938-1942 African Americans view war as double victory:
    • The fight of racism at home
    • The fight of totalitarianism government
    • UCLA football integrates 5 black students in team
  • 1945 Supreme Court lifts restricted covenants in public housing allowing for more integration nationwide
  • 1947 African American, player of the year Rose Bowl
  • 1954 Brown v Board; Emmitt Till Case (55)
  • 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott/ Brown II
  • 1956 Sugar Bowl Controversy—Student protest team integration
  • 1957 Little Rock Nine
  • 1960 Louisiana legislation banning integration of sports
  • 1972 Alabama: First black Player to play on team: John Mitchell
point of view media
Point of View: Media
  • A. “The football team belongs to Georgia Tech, not to coach Dodd and he should no more be faced with the question of deciding the issue than a teacher should be called upon to the racial policy of a school system.”
        • Macon Telegraph, pg. 95
  • B. There are an abundance of broader fronts on which the issue of segregation can be fought.”
        • Augusta Chronicle, p. 96
  • Questions:
    • 1. How does this text express bias or point of view?
    • 2. How does this connect with what you know?
segregationist point of view
Segregationist Point of VIew
  • “To take whatever steps necessary to preserve segregation.” Gov. Marvin Griffin
  • “…the Negro as a fellow player with white men is quiet and unassertive; even though he may be the star of the team, he does not assume too openly to lead…the negro mingles easily with white participants, accepting inferior status and being content with it.”
            • William Lewis (Integrated Amherst football in 1888)
  • “There will be no mixing of the races in college classrooms in Georgia as long as I am governor”
            • Governor Marvin Griffin
  • “If it’s wrong now, its wrong ten years from now.”
            • On integration
  • The Gentlemen’s Agreement: That is, black players sat out of games when playing segregated opponents.
            • Circa, 1938
point of view african americans
Point of View: African Americans
  • “I was on my own.”
        • Bobby Grier (received little assistance from NAACP)
  • African Americans fighting for desegregation on numerous fronts. (Rosa Parks—desegregation).
  • “Black sportswriters applauded the decision to invite University of Pittsburgh yet remained cautious about what restrictions might be placed on Grier and his teammates”
  • African American editor, “Second most important event of 1955 behind only the murder of Emmitt Till. Blacks will play or they will loose.”
  • 1. What stance did the NAACP take on the Grier issue?
  • 2. What role did the Grier case play in the Civil Rights Movement?

Integrationists or Segregationist?

    • Compare the difference between the behavior of African American players on the quotes with the behavior of African American players today. Different or the same?
    • Why the difference?
  • Who are the “gentlemen” in the gentlemen’s agreement?
  • Why did they want African American players to sit out when playing Southern teams?
historical significance
Historical Significance
  • The Civil Rights movement in America was focused in the South. Other parts of aware of the events like the Emmitt Till murder, Montgomery Bus Boycott, Birmingham Church bombing and the Sugar Bowl controversy. Even though the controversy took place in Georgia , sportswriters and students took it the national level. People were forced to decide what was more important—segregation or having a winning football team which meant playing African American athletes. Becoming integrated meant giving up the Jim Crow past. It was the beginning acceptance.