February 11, 2016
On Thursday, February 11, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum will host a free symposium to remember the impact of Charleston’s Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars team (the only non-white Little League team in South Carolina in 1955) and their journey to the Little League World Series amidst the struggle for civil rights in South Carolina and throughout the South.
The symposium titled, Cannon Street YMCA All-Stars in Uniform, will feature a panel of former players from the team—several of whom later served in the military. The panelists will include: Leroy Major, Vermont Brown, Augustus Holt and John Rivers. These former players will recount their memories of living in Charleston at a tumultuous time and their feelings when 61 other Little League teams in South Carolina refused to play them because of the color of their skin. As a direct result of this protest, the white teams formed the Dixie Youth Baseball League and abandoned Little League entirely.
The Cannon Street YMCA All Stars were able to go watch the Little League World Series that year in Pennsylvania, but were not able to participate since they had not played in the state tournament. This symposium is offered as part of Black History Month and will delve into the pivotal topic of civil rights in the South in the 1950s.