Justin Hinton and Meredith Land, NBC 5 News
William "Bill" Blair is a living legend in the African American community ,he played in the Negro Baseball League and founded Elite News. Soon his legacy will have a public home at the University of Texas at Arlington.
William "Bill" Blair, a former Negro League baseball pitcher, has donated newspapers, photographs and other personal memorabilia to the University of Texas at Arlington's Special Collections Library.
Blair signed over more than 30 boxes of items during a ceremony Tuesday morning.
Ann Hodges, special collections program coordinator, said the public event marked a first.
"I have been here in the library for 16 years now, and this is the first time we have ever celebrated the acquisition of a collection with an event like this," she said.
Blair's children and community members spoke about the legend's legacy.
"For those who might not get a chance to see him before he walks on to the next life, they will get to celebrate what he done in this life," said his son, Darryl Blair. "That's the beauty of it."
At 90, Bill Blair, has a lot of knowledge to pass on -- one of the reasons why he decided to donate his collection to UTA, he said.
He said he hopes others will learn from his experiences. He, along with the school's Special Collections Library and the Center for African American Studies worked together to solidify the move.
The collection-gathering process is still in the early stages, but Hodges said she hopes to have all of the material sorted by the end of the year. It took two trips to collect the 30 boxes of materials. Most of the documents uncovered so far provide knowledge about the black church experience in Dallas.
Once they finish sorting, they will compile the materials used in the collection.
W. Marvin Delaney, chair of the UTA's Department of History said the acquisition is part of the university's mission to promote African-American history, studies and research.