The desegregation of college football affected more than just the players on the field. In his lecture, titled  “Desegregating College Football in the Jim Crow South, 1945-1975,” Dr. Zeb Baker, Visiting Professor of History at Georgia Southern University, tells the story of how it affected all of campus life. His lecture takes place on Thursday, March 8 from 10:30 a.m. to noon and 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the UTC University Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Baker’s lecture will demonstrate how the desegregation of southern college football is a story of the contest between black access and white privilege, played out more times than not in the ferociously competitive arena of campus politics — more policy than pigskin.

“College football has become one of the most popular sports in America, especially in the South.  But aside from serving as a form of entertainment and community pride, college football has much to teach about the history of racial, social, and sectional relations in this country.  Dr. Baker’s lecture will introduce UTC students and the Chattanooga community to these immensely important historical issues, and will stimulate discussions about the ongoing struggle to maintain racial diversity and equal opportunity in American higher education,” Dr. Michael Thompson, UTC Assistant Professor of History, said.

Baker, who holds a Ph.D in American Studies from Emory University, is a historian currently at work on three books that explore the intersections of race and gender with the popular phenomenon that is college sports.

This event is sponsored by the UTC Office of Equity and Diversity, Faculty Senate Speakers and Special Events Committee, Student Government Association, UTC Athletics, History Club, and Departments of History, Political Science, and Anthropology, Sociology, and Geography.

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