Rich History – Before there was Tiger

The good folks at the Center for Sport in Society at Northeastern recently co-hosted an event with Comcast’s Golf Channel to educate those young and old about the rich history of African Americans in golf.

Much has been debated about how to better engage youth in school, whether that involves more use of technology or new pedagogy that provides lessons in a context more familiar to the students.  Showing a documentary about the issues of racial integration, equal rights and fair play through sport may a valuable approach worth emulating.

You can read the full article at, with an excerpt provided below.


Uneven Fairways Explored

(10-26-09) Boston, Mass. – On Monday, Sport in Society teamed up with Comcast the GOLF CHANNEL to present Uneven Fairways, a documentary chronicling the little-known but rich history of African Americans in golf through never-before-seen archival footage of the men and women who faced prejudice and endured indignities to play golf at its highest level, to more than 100 middle school students from Boston Public Schools. The event was emceed by local NECN sports caster Chris Collins.

In addition to the film, students learned about the rich history of African-Americans in the sport of golf from guest speakers Pete McDaniel, author of “Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf” a book that looked at the trials and triumphs pioneering golfers such as Joe Louis, Charlie Sifford, and Ted Rhodes, and Leonard Jones, one of the nation’s first professional golfers of color. The special event was held at the Cabral Center in the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute at Northeastern University.

“The documentary film ‘Uneven Fairways’ exemplifies the values of racial justice that our staff promotes in the work we do every day,” said Dan Lebowitz, Sport in Society executive director. “Sport is a unique unifying platform that enables us to have those important conversations about race in America. We are thrilled to be a part of this event and the dialogue that will result from it.”

Each student went home with an Uneven Fairways DVD and with a copy of the book Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African-Americans in Golf.

“Leonard Jones is an important figure in the history of American sport and we are pleased to be connecting students here in Boston to his story and to the larger story of African-Americans in golf,” said Steve Hackley, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Greater Boston Region.  “This documentary and book also present unique opportunities for families to talk about a difficult chapter in American history, and we hope families will read the book and watch the DVD together.”

(The article continues at