Athletics

Atlanta University Baseball Team

Atlanta University Baseball Team, undated

Morehouse College Football Game

Morehouse College Football Game, circa 1950

The Atlanta University baseball team was founded in the 1880s. Since that time, athletics have come to play an integral part in several of the AUC schools. Athletics were organized as an unofficial league at the schools. In 1896, the inter-collegiate baseball league was formed that included Atlanta University, Atlanta Baptist Seminary (Morehouse College), Clark University, and Morris Brown College. In the early 1900s, other sports were brought to the AUC schools, such as football and basketball. Even though these early teams were not a part of an official league, HBCUs worked to provide this experience to students. 

Players at a Basketball Game

Players at a Clark College Basketball Game, circa 1994

During segregation, HBCUs formed their own athletic conferences and associations. Schools like Atlanta University, Morehouse College, and Clark College joined these conferences. Throughout the 20th century, athletics at HBCUs became organized and a part of official sports leagues. Athletics at AUC schools like Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College represent a significant aspect of the HBCU experience. Sports are a source of excitement, campus pride, and passion.

Information from this section of the exhibit was obtained from the following sources: 

  1. The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: 
    Past, Present, and Persistence
    edited by Billy Hawkins; Joseph Cooper; Akilah Carter-Francique and J. Kenyatta Cavil
  2. The Black Colleges of Atlanta by Rodney T Cohen
  3. The History of Athletics at Morehouse College, 1896-1966, by Frank L Forbes
  4. Morris Brown College, The First Hundred Years, 1881-1981, by George Alexander Sewell and Cornelius V Troup