FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

A Diamond of Their Own: History of Negro Leagues Exhibit in Cape May, New Jersey

by Ron Bernthal

Feb 3, 2022

© Sydnei SmithJordan

Daily

An exhibit celebrating the history of baseball’s Negro Leagues is open through April 30, at Carroll Gallery, on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, New Jersey.

 

The exhibit is called A Diamond of Their Own: The Remarkable History of the Negro Leagues as portrayed by artist Sydnei SmithJordan. It is presently at no cost to the public by Cape May Museums + Arts + Culture and the Center for Community Arts, in partnership with Sydnei SmithJordan.

 

Cape May baseball

© Sydnei SmithJordan

The exhibit features original artwork created by SmithJordan and artist Chanelle René celebrating the spirit and talent of the men and women who played for the Negro Leagues from the late 1800s to the 1940s. The exhibit includes vintage baseball memorabilia and artifacts courtesy of CCA, the Dempsey family, Mark Kulkowitz, SmithJordan and Janis Washington White, as well as photos and text from the early days of the Negro Leagues. Ms. White, a fifth generation West Cape May native, is a descendant of members of the Cape May Giants.

 

“Major League Baseball was founded in 1876 and Black players were contracted to play as early as 1884,” said Janis Washington White. “But in 1887, a gentleman’s agreement was formed among the owners that began to block new contracts with Black players through the minor leagues, which led to the eventual disappearance of Blacks in the Major Leagues.”

 

The appearance of Jackie Robinson as a Brooklyn Dodger in April 1947 broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball forever.

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