Barkley, Others Share Spotlight For Anniversary Celebration

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: April 11, 2007

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Local sports fans are making plans to see Charles Barkley, TNT Sports Commentator and former NBA player; Mike Davis, UAB Head Basketball Coach; and Bobby Humphrey, former Birmingham Steeldogs Head Coach; during the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Protective Life Insurance Company’s “Blacks In The Main Stream: African Americans In Sports since Jackie Robinson” program on Friday, April 13 and Saturday the 14th.

The event is being held in celebration of both the 60th Anniversary of Robinson’s re-integration of professional baseball and Protective Life Insurance Company’s 100th Anniversary.

On Friday, April 13 from 1-4 p.m. Peter Roby, Director of the Center for the Study of Sports in Society, will moderate a panel discussion designed for parents, teachers, students and coaches on “Blacks in the Mainstream” at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

In addition to Barkley, Davis and Humphrey, other panelists include Ken Hudson, first Black NBA referee; Floyd Keith, President of the Black Coaches Association; and Byron R. Perkins, attorney with the Cochran Firm and legal expert on athletic contracts.

An outdoor festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14 at BCRI and Kelly Ingram Park will focus on the former Negro League Baseball players and feature Larry Lester, a Negro League Baseball historian, a theatrical tribute to Blacks in professional sports, autographs from Negro League Baseball players, food, games and more.

BCRI is located at 520 Sixteenth Street North, Birmingham. Both the panel discussion and outdoor festival are free and open to the public.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Public Discussion

1:00 P.M.- 4:00 P.M.

Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) East Meeting Room M

1 Civic Center Plaza

Birmingham, Alabama

1:00 P.M.

Welcome Angela Fisher Hall

Executive Assistant to the President

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Greetings Kate Cotton

Vice President

Community Relations & Executive Director

Protective Life Foundation

Program Overview Ahmad Ward

Head of Education

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

1:10 P.M.- 1:30 P.M.

“Remembering The Contribution of Jackie Robinson: African Americans in Sports Before 1947″

Presenter: Peter Roby, Director

Center for the Study of Sport in Society, Northeastern University

1:35 P.M. – 1:50 P.M.

“When Integration Came–The Consequences of Blacks in the Mainstream”

Presenter: Larry Lester, President

NoirTech Research, Inc. and Negro Leagues Baseball Authority

2:00 – 4:00 P.M.

“Blacks In The Mainstream: The Challenges and Successes of Blacks in Professional Sports”

This panel discussion will focus on several issues including:

  • The struggle for respect as Black players, coaches and officials.
  • Society’s view of the Black athlete
  • Hiring practices for head coaching positions
  • The lack of minority ownership
  • Personal viewpoints for the future


Moderator: Peter Roby, Director

Center for the Study of Sport in Society,

Northeastern University

Panelists: Charles Barkley, Retired NBA Player, TNT Sports Commentator

Byron Perkins, Managing Attorney, The Cochran Firm (Birmingham) and Co-Counsel to the Fritz Pollard Alliance (a national organization promoting diversity in the NFL)

Mike Davis, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

Ken Hudson, First Black NBA Referee, Former Coca-Cola USA Executive

Bobby Humphrey, Retired NFL Player, Former Head Coach Birmingham Steeldogs Arena Football Team

Floyd Keith, Executive Director, Black Coaches Association

Larry Lester, President, NoirTech Research, Inc.

Saturday, April 14, 2006

Family Festival and Outdoor Activities

10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park

520 Sixteenth Street North

Birmingham, Alabama

10:00A.M.BCRI opens to the public


10:00A.M.Children’s Games in Kelly Ingram Park until 2:00 p.m.

Face Painting and Balloons


Bungee Run

11:00A.M.“Glory Days: A Salute to the Negro Leagues”

A Presentation by the BCRI Players until 11:30 a.m.

Rev. Abraham L. Woods, Jr. Community Meeting Room

11:30A.M. Hot Dogs/Popcorn/Drinks/Ice Cream served until 2:00 p.m.

12:00P.M.“The Challenge for Tomorrow”

BCRI Main Entrance

Welcome: Ahmad Ward, BCRI Head of Education

Speaker: Larry Lester, President, NoirTech Research, Inc. until 12:15 p.m.

“Introduction of Special Guests and Negro Leagues Players”

Followed by autograph opportunities

1:00P.M.“Glory Days: A Salute to the Negro Leagues” (repeat of 11:00 A.M. performance)

A presentation by the BCRI Players until 1:30 p.m.

Rev. Abraham L. Woods, Jr. Community Meeting Room

2:00P.M.“Blacks in the Mainstream” program activities end

5:00P.M. BCRI closes for the day (free admission until closing)

NOTE: For more information on the program, contact Ahmad Ward at 328-9696 ext. 234 or