Houston and Williams help Hall of Fame celebrate Black History Month

02/25/2009

Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Ken Houston and Doug Williams, the first African American quarterback to start a Super Bowl, traveled to Canton to take part in the Hall’s annual celebration of Black History Month.

 
Ken Houston (left) and Doug Williams

Houston and Williams were the featured speakers for an annual seminar presented as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Education Outreach Program. The two-day seminar attracted more than 1,000 high schools students from Ohio who intently listened and engaged with the guest speakers. An additional 1,700 students joined the sessions from across the United States and Canada via the Hall’s Distance Learning technology.

Two NFL clubs – the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans – took part in the program as players traveled to area schools to participate via videoconference. Texans defensive end Earl Cochran was on hand at the Houston Independent School Distict while Bears offensive lineman John Beekman was the guest at Harlan Academy in Chicago.

Josh Beekman speaks to students at Harlan Academy in Chicago.
A complete list of schools that participated in the Hall’s educational seminar this year is listed below.

Houston, who starred for the Houston Oilers and Washington Redskins, was one of the finest defensive backs to play the game. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 1986. Williams made history when he started Super Bowl XXII for the Redskins marking the first time an African American quarterback started in a Super Bowl. He threw a then-record four touchdowns in his team’s win to earn the game’s Most Valuable Player honors.

Houston and Williams also were the featured guests at a special evening event on Thursday, February 12.

Guests were treated to a special presentation by Houston and Williams who spoke in the Hall’s NFL Films Theater. After the program, the two football legends mingled with visitors for a meet and greet and signed autographs.

Participating school districts from Ohio who were on-site for the educational seminar:
Akron Garfield High School Malvern High School
Akron North High School Maple Heights High School
Boardman High School Massillon Washington High School
Canton South High School McKinley High School (Canton)
Choffin Career and Technical Center (Youngstown) Steubenville High School
Copley High School Stivers School for the Arts (Dayton)
Crestwood High School (Mantua) Timken Freshman Academy (Canton)
East Canton High School Timken High School (Canton)
East Tech High School (Cleveland) Vermilion High School
Glen Oak High School (Canton) Woodridge High School (Peninsula)
   
Schools joining via the Hall of Fame’s Distance Learning Technology
ADE Distance Learning Center (Maumelle, AR) Millenium Middle School (Tamarac, FL)
Ballou Sr. High School (Washington D.C.) Miramar High School (Miramar, FL)
Central York High School (York, PA) Nanuet Public Schools (Nanuet, NY)
Chicago Public Schools (Chicago, IL - connection provided by the Chicago Bears through the Play It Smart Program) North Canton High School (North Canton, OH)
Cuyahoga Valley Career Center (Brecksville, OH) Nyack High School (Nyack, NY)
Douglas Global Learning (Douglas, KS) Plantation High School (Plantation, FL)
General McLane High School (Edinboro, PA) Riverdale High School (Pierrefonds, Quebec, Canada)
Houston Independent School District (Houston, TX - connection provided by the Houston Texans through the Play it Smart Program) St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati, OH)
James Lyng High School (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) Walnut Ridge High School (Columbus, OH)
La Vernia High School (La Vernia, TX) Wellston High School (Wellston, OH)
McArthur High School (Hollywood, FL)  

More from Profootballhof.com
Hall of Fame Bio: Ken Houston
Doug Williams, the first black QB to start in Super Bowl
African-American pioneers in pro football
Team Histories: Buccaneers | Titans (Oilers) | Redskins
Pro Football Hall of Fame Event Calendar

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