“Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia” Reopens at Anacostia Community Museum in Celebration of All-Star Game
The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum will reopen its popular exhibition, “Separate and Unequaled: Black Baseball in the District of Columbia,” to celebrate this year’s All-Star Game July 17 at Nationals Park. The remounted exhibition, sponsored by ESPN’s The Undefeated, will be on display through Wednesday, Aug. 1.
“Separate and Unequaled” chronicles and celebrates the history of African Americans in baseball in the nation’s capital during segregation. The exhibition uses historical photographs to narrate this very American story. It was first on display at the museum in 2008 on the occasion of the opening of Nationals Park. This 10-year reopening includes three new murals and a selfie station.
“We are thrilled to bring back this inspiring exhibition 10 years later,” said Museum Director Lori D. Yarrish. “We know it will be a great addition to the city’s celebration of hosting this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.”
The exhibition tells the story of African American baseball in Washington, beginning in the mid-1800s and through the desegregation of the sport. It describes how the organized African American teams, unable to own ballparks, played wherever they could and often requested the use of white-owned fields, including Griffith Stadium, the home of the major league Washington Senators. Because of consistent winning scores and exciting games, the African American teams soon became the fan favorites of Washington baseball lovers, selling out stadiums wherever they played.
The exhibition also highlights the critical role played by sportswriters like Sam Lacy and Art Carter in promoting the team and Negro League games to their readers.
Celebrating its 50th year, the Anacostia Community Museum is located at 1901 Fort Pl. S.E., Washington, D.C. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Dec. 25).
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Marcia Baird Burris