Since the late nineteenth century, Iowa’s African Americans have participated in a variety of sports and contributed in profound ways to Iowa’s sporting culture. In the United States, African Americans experienced severe discrimination in sports as in other activities, but fought long and hard to overcome racism. In Iowa, as elsewhere, African Americans frequently used achievement in sports as a way to come together as a community. From the segregated playing fields of yesterday to the more open playing fields of today, Iowa contains countless African American sports stories that remind us of the broader struggle for civil rights in America. This exhibit displays just a few of these amazing stories.
The African American Museum of Iowa would like to thank the following for making this exhibit possible:
Tom and Nan Riley, Richard and Norma Small, The Community Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, The Merveaux Donor Special Interest Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Historical Resource Development Program of the State Historical Society of Iowa, Collins Community Credit Union, Dave Engle, Ortha Harstad, True North Companies, Worley Warehousing, Toyota Financial Services and Laura Tyus, Sara, Jesse and Steven Small in honor of their parents and grandparents Richard and Norma Small.