On Tuesday, Gallagher Way sponsored a screening of Lauren Meyer’s “The Other Boys of Summer” on the big screen outside of Wrigley Field. The film includes a lot of interviews of former players and original footage from the Negro Leagues. Some of the highlights of the film include interviews with Hall of Famer and White Sox great, Minnie Miñoso and one of the trailblazing women in baseball, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson.
If you haven’t yet had a chance to see this documentary you should absolutely check it out. It tells the story of Negro League baseball players, in their own words, set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement and policy changes that were taking place nationally. You can see a clip from the film below:
One of the points emphasized repeatedly in the film is the degree to which the players from the Negro Leagues were really at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement. As a postcard I received at the event points out:
“Jackie Robinson stepped on the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947
- 7 years BEFORE the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. The Board of Education.
- 8 years BEFORE Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus.
- 13 years BEFORE the lunch counter sit-ins.
- 17 years BEFORE the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed by President Johnson.”
Director Lauren Meyer was on hand for the showing and I got a chance to talk to her after the event. She explained that it took 12 years for her to produce this film. If you have an organization or group that would like to host a showing of the film there is information about how to bring the film to your area on their website.
Keep an eye out for a screening near you. Every baseball fan should be more familiar with this part of baseball history and this film does a great job letting players tell their story.