Zachary Walker
Dole Institute of Politics

Dole Institute will present 'Baseball: The Color Barrier'

Thu, 04/01/2021

LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas has announced that it will livestream the third installment of its series “A Conversation on Race” on Wednesday, April 14, on the institute’s YouTube channel. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and will be moderated by Barbara Ballard, senior associate director of the institute.

“Since the founding of the first professional baseball league in this country, racism has been a persistent problem,” Director Bill Lacy said. “For the third episode of ‘A Conversation on Race,’ we will discuss the color barrier in baseball and the courageous men who broke through. Bob Kendrick is the ideal guest to explore this topic, and we look forward to what will be a fascinating and insightful evening.”

Bob KendrickThe program will explore the factors that made Major League Baseball a flashpoint for civil rights in 1947, more than a decade before the marches and rallies of the 1960s. The event streams the day before Jackie Robinson Day, in which all Major League Baseball players wear jerseys with his number, 42. This program will discuss the man who became the focus of a nation as he walked on the field as the first professional black athlete in the U.S. to shatter the color barrier. 

Kendrick was named president of the NLBM in March 2011. Kendrick has been responsible for the creation of several signature museum educational programs and events including the Hall of Game, which annually honors former MLB greats who played the game in the spirit and signature style of the Negro Leagues. Kendrick has become one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race and diversity.

This special program will be livestreamed to the institute’s YouTube channel and its website, Due to continuing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic, the program will only be available online. Follow the Dole Institute on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for updates regarding this and future programming.   

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting political and civic participation as well as civil discourse in a bipartisan, philosophically balanced manner. It is located in KU's West District and houses the Dole Archive and Special Collections. Through its robust public programming, congressional archive, and museum, the Dole Institute strives to celebrate public service and the legacies of U.S. Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole.

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