Park University Co-Hosting Negro Leagues Literature Event

Monday, March 20, 2017

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Park University has teamed with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to host a “Baseball Book Notes Book Festival” on Saturday, April 1, at the NLBM, 1616 E. 18th Street in Kansas City, Mo. Entry to the event is included with paid admission to the Museum or free for NLBM members with membership card. The Festival is part of Park’s Year of Inclusion.

The Festival serves as an unofficial kick off to the 2017 Major League Baseball season and provides a unique one-day literature event with nationally known baseball scholars and authors. This literary “triple-header” will feature discussions on recent baseball-related publications with a focus on key figures from the Negro Leagues and the integration of baseball. In addition, authors will participate in book signings throughout the day.

The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with opening remarks, followed by discussions of the following books:
          •  9:45 to 11 a.m. — Ted Strong Jr.: The Untold Story of an Original Harlem Globetrotter and Negro Leagues All-Star, with author Sherman Jenkins and special guest “Jumpin’” Johnny Wilson. Wilson played one year in the Negro Leagues with the Chicago American Giants before playing basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters from 1949-54. Delia Gillis, Ph.D., professor of history and director of the Center of Africana Studies at the University of Central Missouri, will serve as moderator.
          •  11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. — Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son — with author Paul Dickson. John Lofflin, professor of journalism and chair of the Department of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations at Park University, will serve as moderator.
          •  2:15 to 4 p.m. — Jackie Robinson, A Spiritual Biography: The Faith of a Boundary-Breaking Hero — with co-authors Chris Lamb and Michael G. Long, and special guest Jonathan Eig, journalist and author of Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Randal Jelks, Ph.D., professor of American studies, and African and African-American studies at the University of Kansas, will serve as moderator.

Admission to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors 65 and older, $6 for children age 5-12 and free for children under age 5. The Baseball Book Festival is co-sponsored by Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Baseball in Literature and Culture Conference. For more information about the event, contact the NLBM at / (816) 221-1920,