Lebanon Reporter

Z_CNHI News Service

August 29, 2013

Must-see documentary tells story of Ala. sports in Civil Rights era

(Continued)

They weren’t scholarship guys, just walk-ons who weren’t afraid of walking into a previously all-white locker room. Talk about courage. None ever made it into a regular season game, although two did play in a spring scrimmage – a point some may see as trivial, but an achievement that truly wasn’t.

Their efforts – and perhaps awareness by Bryant that Alabama’s competitiveness on the national stage was threatened – led to changes. The introduction of black players to the team proved at least two things: They could play and they could be teammates.

Getting fans across the state to accept it, however, would be another obstacle. But as former Alabama sports information director Kirk McNair said, “Those old rednecks wouldn’t challenge Coach Bryant.” When it came to powerbases in Alabama, there was Bryant and there was Wallace, and the governor knew not to tangle with the Bear.

Actually, it was basketball coach C.M. Newton who signed Wendell Hudson in 1969 to an athletic scholarship, the school’s first to an African-American. Recruiting a black player had Bryant’s blessing. Later that year, assistant coach Pat Dye convinced Wilbur Jackson, a running back from Birmingham, that Alabama was right for him and he was right for Alabama. Assuring Jackson’s parents was a tougher assignment, but Dye proved persuasive. The Tide had turned.

The informative and captivating documentary features dozens of interviews with coaches, players, sports writers and even a cheerleader, each adding valuable insight and detail. The name – “Three Days at Foster” – refers to separate events: The Wallace-staged blockade, a gripping story about a black high school basketball player from Huntsville who leads his team to a state championship in a hostile environment, and a late-in-life moment where Jackson returns to campus with his daughter.

The documentary lasts about 80 minutes and can be rented online for $4.95, through an Internet film service called Vimeo on Demand.

It’s a championship effort by Dunnavant, who allows “Three Days at Foster” to expose dark times in Tuscaloosa that ultimately give way to a brighter day, not only for a team but a state.

Tom Lindley is a sports columnist for the CNHI News Service. Reach him at tlindley@cnhi.com.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from August 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Furry Roommates: Dorms Allowing Cats and Dogs Chase Rice Defends Bro-Country 'Jersey Shore Massacre' Pokes Fun at MTV Series Raw: Wash. Mudslides Close Roads, Trap Motorists DC's Godfather of Go-Go Honored Ukraine Calls Russian Convoy a 'direct Invasion' Girl Meets Her 'one in the World' Match Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks Japan Landslide Rescuers Struggle in Heavy Rain Raw: Severe Floods, Fire Wrecks Indiana Homes Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future Raw: Russian Aid Convoy Arrives in Ukraine Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide