Chapter 13: Baseball

Negro baseball exploded after the war. Much more that just a growth in exercise or leisure, the tradition of fraternal, social and service organizations was stretched now to include baseball clubs with their own officers, dues, meetings, and rules of conduct — one more example of the nation within a nation trying to catch on to an outcropping of white America. Baseball was a public exhibition of Negro equality in a time of optimism, a time of Reconstruction. Just watch. They could play the same game as white men.


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This broadside is eight feet high and was seen on windows in downtown Philadelphia in June, 1863, as black leaders called a meeting to convince black men to join the Union Army prior to Gettysburg.