Athletes beat prejudice, graciously accept plaque

Record Number: 

Ceriano, Valerie. “Athletes beat prejudice, graciously accept plaque.” American Indian Report February 2000: page 28.


This concise but detailed article, based on conversations with Bruce Barton, Ronnie Chavis, and Tim Brayboy, describes the Robeson County Indian Athletic Conference and the segregation of high school athletes in the 1940s and 1950s. North Carolina had three high school athletic conferences at that time--one for white schools in the western part of the state, one for schools in the rest of the state, and one for black schools. In Robeson County, schools in the Robeson County Indian Athletic Conference played each other and were not allowed to play outside their conference or go to state-level competition. When the three state-level associations were merged in 1967 and the Robeson County Indian Athletic Association was disbanded, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association placed a plaque in the foyer of its Chapel Hill headquarters to commemorate the black conference. Finally, in October 1999, a plaque was mounted to remember the Robeson County conference. The article also mentions the three-way movie theater segregation that once existed in Robeson County, and the success of Kelvin Sampson, Lumbee head coach at the University of Oklahoma, whose father, Ned, was allowed to teach only in Robeson County's Indian school system.

First Appeared in 1994 Book?: 
Category Tags: 
Publication Type: 
Additional Information: 
Basketball | Robeson County Indian Athletic Conference | Ned Sampson | Kelvin Sampson
Other Features of Work: 
1 photograph