Emerson’s Office of the Arts is partnering with the Boston Red Sox, the City of Boston, Meet Boston, and the Boston Public Library to tell the story of the integration of Major League Baseball with a free exhibit.
Barrier Breakers: From Jackie to Pumpsie, will open Juneteenth, Monday, June 19, and run through Friday, August 4, in the Loft, 118 Boylston Street. The exhibit will be open to the public seven days a week, from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Barrier Breakers, a traveling exhibit from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, tells the stories of the Negro Leagues and the athletes who refused to accept the idea that they were unfit to participate in and share the national pastime. The exhibit follows Jackie Robinson joining the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 through Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, who completed the integration cycle 12 years later with the Red Sox.
“Our support and partnership with the Red Sox, the City of Boston, the BPL, and Meet Boston demonstrates our commitment to being a good citizen organization that values the power of storytelling in fostering dialogue, promoting understanding, and amplifying marginalized voices,” said David Howse, Stephen G. Langley Chair and Vice President for Office of the Arts.
“By honoring the legacy of Black athletes who broke barriers in their sport, we preserve untold stories and contribute to a more equitable society, particularly as we observe Juneteenth and aspire for racial equality and social justice,” Howse said.
The BPL will host three conversations with experts on the history of the Negro Leagues and how they shaped modern professional baseball in conjunction with the exhibit:
On Monday, June 26, 6:00 pm, Dr. Charles Steinberg, president of the Red Sox’s Triple A affiliate in Worcester, Mass., and Director of Sports Communication at Emerson, will be interviewed by BPL Trustee Ben Bradlee Jr.
On Tuesday, July 11, 6:00 pm, former star Red Sox pitcher Denis “Oil Can” Boyd, whose family members played in the Negro Leagues, will be interviewed by BPL Trustee and Emerson Professor Jabari Asim.
The third conversation will be announced shortly. Community partners in support of Barrier Breakers include: the Boston Children’s Museum, the Boston Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, CVS Health, Boston Area Church League, Worcester WooSox, Cheers of Boston, Roberto Clemente 21 Sports Program, Viola Goodman Sports Program, Carter American Legion Post (Dorchester), Trinity Church of Boston, Greater Boston YMCA, Black Nativity of Boston, Boston Praise Radio, Boston Parks and Recreation, Massachusetts Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ, Eliot Congregational Church, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Good Shepherd Church of God in Christ, Saint John Paul II, the Bay