In a state that did not integrate schools until 1962, and a state that would eventually play host to the tragic assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., it wouldn’t be hard to imagine a newspaper writing a hate-filled review discussing the blow college basketball had taken with starting five African American players. However, in Nashville’s “The Tennessean,” it wasn’t what the newspaper wrote that surprised its readers, it was what it didn’t. This newspaper, in a state still very much racially divided, did not once mention the pigmentation of Texas Western’s players, and instead decided to focus the outstand...
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... in the United States at that time is debatable. By researching the changes that occurred directly after the airing of the national championship game, I plan to show how this game was partially responsible for the progress of the civil rights movement at the time. I plan to use statistics regarding the increased integration of college sports following this game, as well as the reactions of states at the forefront of the fight against the civil rights movement to support my claim that this basketball game played a major role in progressing the civil rights movement in the late 1960s. Based solely on this teams ability to a unify a country so heavily divided, as well as the impact it had on even the most racially segregated of states, I will prove that this basketball team was silently one of the most impactful events to progress the ideas of the civil rights movement.
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