Leveling the Playing Field - The Story of the Syracuse 8
Sept 25, 2015
The Office of Program Development hosted an illuminating event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem on September 23. The 6 surviving members of a group known as the Syracuse 8 greeted alumni and friends as they arrived at the Schomburg Center before leading an enthusiastic discussion and Q&A for Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8.
With this book, written by David Marc, who was also on-hand, it is the first time this remarkable story of this groups' courage and perseverance for justice is being told. Given the issues surrounding race in America and the #blacklivesmatter movement, the fight for justice and equality is a theme that resonates for most. It is also the story of the Syracuse 8 on and off the field.
Leveling the Playing Field: The story of the Syracuse 8 is the long overdue story about members of the 1969-1970 Syracuse University football team who boycotted the spring practice to protest racial inequality on the team. The players petitioned the coaching staff with four demands: access to the same academic tutoring made available to their white teammates; better medical care for all team members; starting assignments based on merit rather than race; and an effort to integrate the coaching staff, which had been all-white since 1898.
During the lively Q&A the audience of about one hundred and fifty people peppered the highly-regarded players and author with questions for more than an hour. Following the discussion in the auditorium everyone headed to the lobby to have their books signed. This event follows a previous discussion and signing in Washington D.C. in July. You can purchase Leveling the Playing Field at a bookstore near you or online.
Check out the event photos.