Pride to All: African-Americans in Iowa Sports

Feb. 15, 2008

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Since the late 19th century, Iowa’s African Americans have participated in a variety of sports and contributed in profound ways to Iowa’s sporting culture often in spite of experiencing discrimination and racism within their sports and communities.

The Johnson County Historical Society and the University of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum invite the public to a forum exploring the experiences of African American athletes in Iowa. “Pride to All: The Experience of African-Americans in Iowa Sports” will be held Monday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum on the corner of Melrose Ave. and Mormon Trek Blvd. in Iowa City.

Panel participants include Fred Mims, associate director of athletics at Iowa and a Hawkeye letterman in baseball and basketball during the 1970s; Ted Wheeler, UI track athlete during the 1950s and the UI’s first African American track coach (1978-1996); David McMahon, assistant professor of history at Kirkwood Community College and Chalmers `Bump’ Elliott, UI director of athletics from 1970-1991.

The forum is free and open to the public. Admission to the UI Athletics Hall of Fame and Museum will also be free from 6-7 p.m. on Feb. 25.

The forum is being held in conjunction with the traveling exhibit, “It’s More Than Just a Game: African American Sports in Iowa,” which is on display during the month of February at the Johnson County Historical Society Museum, 860 Quarry Rd. in Coralville. The traveling exhibit from the African American Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa tells the stories, struggles, and contributions of ten of Iowa’s African American athletes. .

For more information about the Feb. 25 forum or the exhibit, call the Johnson County Historical Society at 319-351-5738 or check out the JCHS website at

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