Early Reflection on Race and Politics Writing

I am in the process of writing the paper based on my research of the integration of Alabama’s football team. I believe I have a good and interesting story so far that weaves between discussing the events happening around the football program and social and political occurrences happening in the 1950s-70s. The book I found on the desegregation of the university has been really useful in plotting the narrative of two eras in university history: the moral (and athletic) failures of the era of President Carmichael in the 50s vs. the progressiveness of President Rose and Coach Bryant’s era in the 60s/early 70s.

My paper is somewhat centered on one spectacular event, the Alabama-USC game in 1970 that many people have credited with causing/allowing Bryant to desegregate the football team. However, early in my research I found that such claims were dubious and began to see things a different way. I believe that my portrayal of the process, a timeline of steps culminating in desegregation slightly before the game, is more historically accurate. However, as I discuss in my paper, I find that the game has its own historical significance despite attempts by some to minimize it. In the end, by evaluating the myths and legends of the 50s and 60s, I think I find a good point of comparison for our modern society.

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