3-18-11: Moving the Chains
In the early 1960s, the University of Maryland College Park was the northernmost school with a football team in the Atlantic Coast Conference. At that point, ACC college football was still, by custom, all-white.
In 1963, the University of Maryland decided to integrate this southern conference, and to do so, they knew they needed their own Jackie Robinson–a great athlete with the emotional fortitude to endure the difficulties of being the first black player in the league.
They found him in Darryl Hill, a model scholar and an astoundingly talented football player at the U.S. Naval Academy. The University asked him if he would agree to transfer to Maryland and take the frontline in this perilous civil rights battle.
He did, and his story is the subject of a new play, called Moving the Chains: The Darryl Hill Story. It was written by University of Maryland English Professor Michael Olmert, and on Monday night, it will get a reading at Washington D.C.’s historic Lincoln Theatre. Today, Professor Olmert gets questions from Tom Hall.