A lecture related to little-known African American sports history will lead off a series of events celebrating African American History Month at the Central Library. On Feb. 7, historian Scott Ellsworth will discuss his research uncovering a secret basketball game played between segregated teams during World War II. Ellsworth’s talk will begin at 4:10 p.m. in the Community Room.
Ellsworth is the author of The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph. He teaches history at the University of Michigan and has written extensively on racial issues in American life in The New York Times and Smithsonian Magazine, among other publications. One of his areas of interest is teaching students oral history techniques. After Ellsworth’s talk, there will be a question-and-answer session with Andrew Maraniss, author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South, followed by a reception.
The ongoing series of brown bag lunches hosted by the library resumes Feb. 15 when librarian Deborah Lilton will discuss rare collections from Vanderbilt’s IMPACT series. Historic documents from previous symposiums will be on display. Founded in 1964, IMPACT is one of the oldest university lecture programs of its caliber in the nation. Lilton serves as librarian for African American and Diaspora studies and English. Her presentation will be from noon to 1 p.m. in Sarratt 327. The brown bag series is co-sponsored by the Office of Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence.