• Fidel Leal
  • Susan M. Branch ’99
  • Guin Thi
  • Sarah Mbiki
  • Ray Christian
  • Kemal Atkins ’92 ’96
  • Traci Royster
  • Brian Shangwa ’15

An Interactive Presentation for Children on the Negro Leagues Baseball Era and Players

Presented as part of the 14th Annual Diversity Celebration
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 / 4:30pm
PSU Roan Mountain Room
Free event

Mr. Derrick Jones has always enjoyed baseball. His hobby is learning as much as he can about a little known period in American history: The Negro Leagues Era. So he has studied it for over 20 years.

Everything Mr. Jones learned about the Negro Leagues players and history made him want to learn more, and so he began collecting artifacts from that period. Some are authentic; others are reproductions. Now, his collection is so large it fills up twelve tables! This “Traveling Museum” contains authentic Negro Leagues jerseys, baseball mitts, vintage baseball trading cards, autographs, photo collections, figurines, and numerous other Negro Leagues collectibles from baseball legends like Jackie Robinson, Max Manning and Buck Leonard.

Over time, Mr. Jones developed a lively presentation called, “A History of the Negro Leagues Baseball Era and Players,” which he has shared with schools and communities across North Carolina and Virginia. Children participate in the presentation by wearing reproductions of jerseys of famous players and reading short biographies of stars like Jackie Robinson, “Cool Papa” Bell, John-Henry “Pop” Lloyd and Josh Gibson.

Mr. Jones’ program shows elementary school students how to “read to learn” and “learn to read” about America's history in a fun filled environment – using baseball cards. “I often shared with my students that there is a wealth of information on the back of baseball cards,” Jones said. In this way, he introduces students to Rube Foster as the "Pioneer'' for the league and Buck O'Neil as the "Ambassador" for the league.

Mr. Jones said, “It is my hope that the legacies and images of these unfamiliar Negro League baseball players will be recognized and respected for years to come.”

Children of all ages (and their friends and families) are invited to enjoy Mr. Jones’ presentation at the Diversity Celebration.

Mr. Jones’ “Traveling Museum of Artifacts from the Negro Leagues Era and Players” will be on display in the Multicultural Center and in the International Hallway on the first floor of Plemmons Student Union from April 13-April 17, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Admission is free and the public is invited.

The Derrick C. Jones Residency on the Negro Leagues Baseball Era is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Compliance, with support from Belk Library and Information Commons, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, and Dan’l Boone Inn.

Hosts for Jones’ presentations and lectures include the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church, Appalachian’s Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Diversity Celebration, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Mabel School, the Department of Sociology and Watauga County Library.

For additional information, call 828-262-2144 or email Susan King at kingsh@appstate.edu.