Educational Seminar held at HOF for Black History Month

Hall Info Published on : 2/16/2006

For the fourth consecutive year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame held a special seminar in celebration of Black History Month.  The presentation, produced as part of the Hall’s Educational Outreach Program, featured a guest panel that included Hall of Fame linebacker Willie Lanier.

Moderator Fendrich (Randy) Clark directs a question to the panel (L-R): Willie Lanier, George Taliaferro, and Charles Ross.
African American Pioneers in Professional Football was held in the Hall’s NFL Films Theater on Thursday.  Joining Lanier on the panel was former NFL player George Taliaferro and noted author Dr. Charles K. Ross.  Fendrich R. Clark, a professor from Mount Union College, served as the program’s moderator.

Lanier, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986, starred at middle linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs for 11 seasons from 1967 to 1977.   Taliaferro was the first African American to be drafted by an NFL club.  He played from 1949 to 1955 with the Los Angeles Dons (All-America Football Conference), New York Yanks, Dallas Texans, Baltimore Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles.  Ross, a professor at the University of Mississippi, authored the book titled, Outside the Lines: African Americans and the Integration of the National Football League.

Nearly 600 students represented 18 different schools from around northeast Ohio – Canton, Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown - participated in the educational sessions on Thursday.

The participating schools included: Canton South High School, Cleveland South High School, East Canton High School, East High School, Fairless High School, Glenoak High School, Glenville High School, Jackson High School, Jackson-Milton High School, Lincoln West High School, Maple Heights High School, Nordonia High School, Sandy Valley High School, Souers Middle Schools, Streetsboro High School, Tuslaw High School, Woodridge High School, Woodrow Wilson High School.

 Willie Lanier's HOF bio
 History of African Americans in Professional Football
 Photo Gallery of the Event

Teacher Activity Guide

Educators may download and use in the classroom the following activity guide developed for our Black History Month seminar. The work activities in this guide meet national education standards and have been developed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Educational Advisory Committee.  The material remains the copyrighted property of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Click on image to download activity guide