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African American Golf History Archive

As the global repository for golf’s shared history, the USGA Golf Museum and Library is committed to elevating diverse perspectives. Over the last decade, the Museum has remained dedicated to preserving and celebrating the African American experience in golf by collecting artifacts and library materials, uncovering stories, producing exhibits and symposia, and creating the African American Golf History Archive. The Archive is comprised of the Newspaper Division and the Information and Ephemera Division.

Newspaper Division

The importance of chronicling the game’s place in Black culture and its broader impact on African American communities and politics spurred the establishment of the African American Golf History Archive’s Newspaper Division.

Since 2014, the Museum has pursued the collection and cataloging of all mentions of golf in two of the nation’s longest running and most widely circulated African American newspapers, the Baltimore Afro-American (1898-1988) and the Chicago Defender (1909-1975).

When complete, nearly 30,000 indexed articles will greatly impact the world’s understanding and scholarly study of the African American experience in golf. Due to the breadth of subjects covered, the archive will serve as a powerful resource for research on race, class, gender, politics, sports, leisure, competition and education in the United States throughout the 20th century.

Baltimore Afro-American: Finding Aid and List of Terms

While progress on the Chicago Defender continues, the collection and cataloging of articles from the Baltimore Afro-American (1898-1988) is complete, consisting of 8,863 captured, indexed and processed articles. The Finding Aid and List of Terms includes approximately 10,750 terms. Terms include general themes as well as any person, place, course, club, city or tournament mentioned in the article. This is the most accessible and easily searchable method for organizing the archive’s contents, enhancing a researcher’s ability to explore general themes or, alternatively, specific people or places. To download a copy of the Baltimore Afro-American Finding Aid or List of Terms from the African American Golf History Archive Newspaper Division please see below:

        Baltimore Afro-American: Finding Aid

        Baltimore Afro-American: List of Terms

For research assistance, or questions about the African American Golf History Archive Newspaper Division, Finding Aid or List of Terms, please contact Victoria Nenno (vnenno@usga.org).

Accessing Articles through ProQuest

ProQuest’s collection of Baltimore Afro-American articles can be accessed in-person at the USGA Museum and Library. Please contact Tara Valente (tvalente@usga.org) to schedule an appointment.

Additionally, patrons of libraries and academic institutions around the world can access ProQuest's complete cover-to-cover full-page and article images of the Baltimore Afro-American, should their library subscribe to it.

The following institutions maintain a subscription to ProQuest’s collection of Baltimore Afro-American articles:

 

About the Newspapers

At the foundation of this project are African American newspapers, a rich resource on the African American perspective during a time of misrepresentation and discrimination. The newspapers currently included in the African American Golf History Archive Newspaper Division are the Baltimore Afro-American (1898-1988)* and the Chicago Defender (1909-1975)*. The nation’s longest running African American newspaper, the Baltimore Afro-American served as the ultimate record of local Black experiences and provides insight into which national stories were important to these Eastern communities. The Chicago Defender, hailed as the most influential Black newspaper in the country, had a wider circulation and provided Southern and Midwestern communities information on the struggles of integration. Both papers were uniquely written for African American audiences and explore diverse facets of Black communities.

*These are the years available through ProQuest’s digitized collection, not the entire publication window of these two newspapers.

Information and Ephemera Division

The African American Golf History Archive’s Information and Ephemera Division contains a variety of information on people, organizations, events and places critical to the history of African Americans in golf. The archive includes magazines, programs, clippings, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports and club histories organized by subject matter. The archive’s contents have been greatly enriched by generous donations of research materials by Dr. Calvin Sinnette, as well as papers and artifacts by William Dickey.

Materials are organized according to the following subjects:

  • History of African American Golfers
  • Biographies of Golfers
  • Discrimination and Racism
  • Tournaments and Championships
  • Junior Golf
  • Golf and Country Clubs
  • Golf Reference
  • Associations
  • Periodicals and Ephemera

 

We hope to continue to expand the Information and Ephemera Division to provide a more comprehensive and representative resource. Please contact Victoria Nenno (vnenno@usga.org) with any suggestions of subjects that should be included in this archive.

Please contact Tara Valente (tvalente@usga.org) should you have any questions or wish to access the material enumerated in the Box List below.

        Information and Ephemera Division: Box List

Artifacts in the Museum Collection

Collecting artifacts that chronicle and communicate the stories and experiences of historically underrepresented groups in golf is one of the Museum’s primary foci.

The Museum’s collection of artifacts related to African Americans in the game spans from the turn of the century to the present day. Figures important to the history of golf, sports, politics and American culture are represented in the collection, including Joe Louis, John Shippen, Althea Gibson, Ann Gregory, Jesse Owens, Charlie Sifford, Sammy Davis Jr., Lee Elder, Arthur Ashe, Tiger Woods, Jackie Robinson, William Wright,  Walter Morgan, and Barbara Douglas, as well as works by artists Dox Thrash and John Holyfield.

Please contact Rosemary Maravetz (rmaravetz@usga.org) should you have any questions regarding the Museum collection.