Friday, January 02, 2009

"Leroy" & Alabama vs. GSU

Breaking the Huddle: Integration

In the section about Wilbur Hackett, Jr.'s first game against the Univ. of Mississippi, Hackett's father recounts hearing "Leroy" used as a seemingly perjorative term for his son. I've seen this doc before, but it was on this second viewing that I was reminded that I'd heard a classmate use the name in reference to our Black classmate of mine while in grammar school. I don't know how he came upon it. It's use wasn't malicious, and she didn't receive it that way. It was a joke between them, I thought...or perhaps he was calling her by her father's name, which is something we did as children. She is one of the those member of Black Gen Y who was blessed with a name beginning in "La", so I thought it might have been the similarity to "Le".
But having just seen this program now makes me wonder. If I ever have the chance to speak to him again, I hope I remember to ask what the origin of that was.

Another later story in the show is about USC's first game against the then still segregated Univ. of Alabama. One interviewee contributes that when USC's Black players led the team out onto the field, he heard an attendee remark:

I thought we were playing some team from California. That's Grambling!

The best jokes are always anecdotal.

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