Tulane University’s Center for Sport will host the inaugural event of its new Sport and Social Justice Speaker Series with a film screening and discussion of the movie, Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story, on Wednesday, February 13 from 6-8 p.m. in the Jill H. and Avram A. Glazer Family Club at Yulman Stadium. The event is free and open to the public, and light food and refreshments will be available. Free parking is available in the Claiborne Avenue Lot, which is accessible off Claiborne Ave, and in the Diboll Parking Garage off Ben Weiner Drive.
Following the screening, a group of panelists will discuss the film, and a question and answer session will follow the discussion. The panelists include Tulane head baseball coach Travis Jewett, Eddie Davis, a former professional baseball player and current director of the MLB Youth Academy NOLA, S. Derby Gisclair, New Orleans baseball writer and historian and Ro Brown, the former WDSU Sports Director and current assistant director of athletic communications at the University of New Orleans. The moderator for the discussion will be Dr. Charvi Greer, the Associate Athletics Director, Academic Services/Senior Woman Administrator for Tulane Athletics.
Directed by Jon Strong, Long Time Coming centers around the year 1955 when racial segregation defined the South and two teams of 12-year-old boys stepped onto a baseball field in a non-violent act of cultural defiance that would change the course of history.
“The Sport and Social Justice Speaker Series serves as an opportunity to educate the Tulane Community and the public at large about productive ways to talk about social justice issues.”
- Dr. Greg Stewart
Florida’s 1955 Little League State Championship between the all-black Pensacola Jaycees and the all-white Orlando Kiwanis moved beyond fears, threats and the unknown to break with tradition and show the world what was possible—breaking the color line in youth sports.
Sixty-years later, the players of the first racially integrated little league baseball game in the South reflect on this revolutionary event in the documentary, building a bridge to heal the social divide that still exists in our country today.
The film also features former Major League Baseball (MLB) players and Civil Rights icons Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken, Jr., Gary Sheffield, Davey Johnson and New Orleans native Andrew Young, the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations and member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Sports are increasingly at the forefront of our social and political conversations, and the influence and effectiveness in this arena continue to grow,” said Dr. Greg Stewart, the W. Kennon McWilliams Professor in Sports Medicine and director of the Professional Athlete Care Team. “The Sport and Social Justice Speaker Series serves as an opportunity to educate the Tulane Community and the public at large about productive ways to talk about social justice issues.”
“This film is an example of how, through sport, we can overcome social divisions. The film will spark a constructive conversation in the understanding of the personal side of civil rights movements. My hope is that the audience is open to the significance of gaining perspective on life from another person’s story. Through the film and panel discussion, the audience will be able to hear others' experiences, reflect on the personal story they are creating, and decide if and how they are contributing to the efforts of racial healing,” said Stewart.