United States Sports Academy Doctoral Teaching Assistant Brandon Spradley helped chronicle the stories of well-known African American athletes at Mobile County Training School (MCTS) during the tumultuous time of segregation, roughly from the 1950s to the 1970s.
These stories told through five, hour-long video interviews are now preserved on an Academy webpage to help celebrate Black History Month. The Black Sports History Project can be found at http://ussa.edu/black-sports-history-project.
The stories presented on the site come from notable athletes who rarely gained acclaim across racial lines during this time. The interviews were produced in conjunction with the MCTS Alumni Association and feature athletes like William Clark, a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees; Larry Shears, one of the top running backs in the state at MCTS, who also played in the NFL; as well as Norman Hill and A.C. Mosley, who were the first black baseball players on a historically all-white area team in 1969.
Brandon, a former track athlete at the University of Alabama, said the project is significant as an educational piece.
“It teaches African Americans and others about the history of sports in the Mobile area and how a lot of athletes went through discrimination and segregation,” he said.
In addition to his work on the Black Sports History Project, Spradley also teaches at the Academy and has twice been to Malaysia on teaching assignments.
Spradley, who plans to finish his studies in May with a Doctor of Education in Sports Management, said he chose the Academy to focus on sports management after earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science from Alabama.
“I would like to do some type of teaching in the field of sports management, or sports science,” he said.