High school sports were not always created equal. An exhibit at the African American Museum of Dallas shows that in Black and white.
"We went to Black schools back then," Robert Brown, Chair of the Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association, explained to some museum visitors. "Every Black school was called 'Colored high'."
Brown grew up in the segregated Texas high school system, at a time when the Prairie View Interscholastic League helped give young Black student-athletes a path to succeed.
"Sport brought us to a different level. Took us to college," Brown said. "I coached for 48-years."
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Memorabilia from the PVIL is on display at the African American Museum of Dallas in an exhibit called 'The History of the Prairie View Interscholastic League: Black High School Sports in Texas in the Era of Segregation'.
The PVIL was formed in 1920. It lasted until 1970. The exhibit features everything from vintage helmets, to Chuck Taylor shoes, to black and white photos from the era when schools and sports were Black and white.
"Not only were we capable as Blacks, but hey, we could outshine some of the whites," Brown said. "Once you realized that...it was no need to have segregation."
Brown said it's important for people to see the exhibit, and know the history of the PVIL in Texas.
"We are still fighting the Civil War in some places," Brown said. "It's important because if you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going."
The exhibit at the African American Museum of Dallas runs until February 15, 2022.