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Black History Month: The Men and Teams of Black Baseball in America

The Contribution of African-Americans 
to America's Favorite Past Time

Lesson Objective:  The students will view the history of the United States by learning about the Negro Baseball Leagues and Black baseball players.

The student will:
  • Apply literal, inferential, evaluative and critical thinking comprehension skills to visual, oral, and written communications. (Language Arts)
  • Understand how experiences of the past shape contemporary and future society in the U.S and Florida. (Social Studies)
  • Understand the impact values and ideals reflected in the U.S historical documents and symbols on the U.S society . (Social Studies)
  • Understand perspective in primary or secondary historical sources. (Social Studies)
Materials and Sources

Banner Roll
Index Cards for each student group
Kings on the Hill (video of the Negro Baseball League)

Activity 1
Using a roll of banner paper, the class will create a classroom timeline of important political, historical, and social events that happened in the United States from 1920 until 1965. This time period has been chosen to be most inclusive of the years of the Negro Baseball Leagues. The timeline will indicate not only the event, but also descriptive words or phrases about the feelings and behaviors of American society. The timeline will be posted in the room for easy reference.

Divide the class into groups of two. Each student group will be given the name of one of the famous Negro players. Click here for a list of suggested names. Give the students internet time to research their players. As the group researches its player, information and the current events of the United States during the time that the player was in baseball will be recorded on index cards. As the class did with the timeline, students record facts about the player and behaviors of society during the time in question. Each group will then present its finding to the class. Instruct the students to include a photocopied picture of the player, if possible. As the presentation is made, the students will post the index cards at the appropriate place on the Timeline Banner.

The students will view "Kings on the Hill" as a culminating activity.

Activity 2
Divide the class into small groups. Each group is assigned a Negro League baseball team to research from the included list. The groups then create a pictorial timeline history of the ballclub and its members. Timelines are posted around the room. Graphics or team logos can also be posted.

Students each write a given number of questions to create a trivia game based on the completed timeline information. The game can then be used as review for United States History, Black History Month, and fun for the class.



Who's Who in Baseball History?

Sol White
Mule Suttles
Biz Mackey
Rube Foster
Joe Rogan
John Henry Lloyd
(Smokey) Joe Williams
Oscar Charleston
Norman "Turkey" Stearnes
Red Grier
Satchel Paige
Roy Campanella
Jackie Robinson
Hank Aaron
Josh Gibson
Willie Wells
Monte Irvin
Buck Leonard

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Negro Ball Clubs

Kansas City Monarchs
Chicago American Giants
Pittsburgh Keystones
Baltimore Black Sox
Memphis Red Sox
Birmingham Black Barons
Hilldale Daisies
Cleveland Hornets
Brooklyn Royal Giants
Homestead Grays
Nashville Elite Giants
Newark Eagles
Cincinnati Tigers
Indianapolis Athletics
Washington Black Senators
Cleveland Bears
Philadelphia Stars
New York Black Yankees
Cleveland Buckeyes
Indianapolis Clowns
Baltimore Elite Giants
Louisville Buckeyes
Houston Eagles
Atlanta Black Crackers
New York Lincoln Giants
New York Cubans
Pittsburgh Crawfords
St. Louis Stars

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