On December 6, the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library co-hosted (with the City of Takoma Park’s Arts and Humanities “We Are Takoma” Cultural Series) a panel discussion, “At the Intersection of Race, Sports, and Law,” in the Takoma Park Community Center auditorium. The event featured N. Jeremi Duru, who grew up in Takoma Park and is now a professor of sports law, civil procedure, and employment discrimination at American University Washington College of Law. He was joined by E. Ethelbert Miller, poet, writer, and literary activist, who served on the board of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) founded by Marcus Raskin, father of Jamie Raskin.

The discussion was moderated by Ralph Steinhardt, a human rights and international law expert based at George Washington University.

You can watch the video recording here:

The wide-ranging discussion touched on, the history of race and sports; the attitudes of the sports commissioners and team owners in football, basketball, and baseball toward the peaceful protest by athletes against racial injustice; exploitation of players — especially college football and basketball players — by institutions that take in millions of dollars from their sports teams.; the difference in the treatment of men and women athletes in professional basketball; the pressures child athletes can face when a college sports scholarship is the goal; and many other topics.

The panelists were asked about their favorite books related to the topic. Among them: Days of Grace: A Memoir, by Arthur Ashe; 40 Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete, by William C. Rhoden; The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World, by John Carlos and Dave Zirin. What’s My Name Fool? by Dave Zirin. All of these can be found in our Library.

Find out more about the panelists by reading their books: Advancing the Ball: Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL, by N. Jeremi Duru; Sports Law and Regulation:Cases and Materials, by N. Jeremy Duru et. al.; Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer, by E Ethelbert Miller; Collected Poems, by E Ethelbert Miller; and If God Invented Baseball, by E Ethelbert Miller. These can also be found in our library.

Below are a few photos from the event.

Photos by Maurice Belanger

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