October Legends
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/2/2013

Offered is an extensive collection of early documents relating to the foundation of the first ever all black college athletic conference. Founded in 1912 as the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association, (later changed to Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1950), the CIAA was the first African-American athletic conference in the country. The association comprised of Historically Black Colleges and Universities along the east coast from Pennsylvania to North Carolina.


This historically important collection was assembled by Charles Holston Williams (1886-1978), one of the founders of CIAA. As head of the athletic department at the Hampton Institute, Williams was inspired to organize the CIAA when he recognized a lack of consistent rules and regulations in inter-collegiate events. Williams called together the athletic directors of four other black colleges - Shaw, Lincoln, Virginia Union and Howard to found a governing body to oversee African-American intercollegiate events. Incredibly, found in this vast archive are the original minutes from this historic February 2, 1912 meeting that created the CIAA. The original typewritten copy of the 1912 CIAA Constitution And By-Laws which established the basic tenets of the fledgling organization is also found in this extraordinary group. The document bears the signatures of CIAA’s first President E.J. Marshall and Secretary Treasurer Charles J. Frazer. There is a complete run of original meeting minutes from 1913 to 1922; the only known group from this early period in existence. A series of 1924 letters from applicants vying to be hired as officials by the CIAA offer an insight into the inter-workings of this pioneer African-American organization. There is a telegram requesting a 1928 Hampton-Bluefield State playoff game and its reply (negative, as Hampton had not yet started post-season play). A 1934 dated grouping of correspondence between Charles Williams and the representatives of the Tuskegee Institute and National Urban League discuss how Williams can grow vocational opportunities for his Hampton students. An interesting 1940’s CIAA report on its member schools’ policies regarding scholarship, financial and eligibility issues are included along with the original questionnaire form.


In addition to the tremendous documents already mentioned, of extreme interest are the 13 issues of CIAA Bulletins from 1930, 1932, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953. These rare 30-40 page yearbooks include photos, school news, standings, membership listings, recaps and scores from all CIAA’s athletic events. These are an invaluable research tool that shines a spotlight on early African-American college athletics not covered anywhere else. For instance, a rarely seen 1951 National Football Classic program showcases the best the African-American colleges had to offer. Its advertisements are a unique glimpse into African-American life: R & B star Louis Jordan performing after the big game, Josephine Baker and Stan Kenton at the DC Armory and ads for segregated hotels pepper the illustrated program. Also included is a collection of colorfully illustrated letterheads and an envelope from the game.


Among other personal items from Charles Williams is a Hampton Institute notebook into which the athletic director carefully pasted clippings pertaining to the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. What is particularly valuable about this collection is that most of the articles and photos are from African-American newspapers such as the Baltimore Afro-American, Philadelphia Independent and Chicago Defender. This offers a rare chance to see how the black press covered the games and specifically the African-American athletes. Many articles and photos of Jesse Owens are found within the pages as well as some dealing with the NAACP’s call for black athletes to boycott the games. Various other ephemera such as early 1950’s budget reports document how the CIAA grew from a pioneering organization begun out of a shared need to improve regional African-American collegiate athletics into a powerful athletic conference. This incredible archive runs into the 1970’s, ending with the 1971 CIAA Constitution, its 36 pages demonstrating the advancements made from the original seven-page constitution that begins this collection. That it was all saved by one of its founders makes this unbelievably vast collection all the more important!


Charles Williams Biography


A little about the man who assembled this amazing collection: Born in Kentucky in 1886, Williams attended Berea College until new segregation laws forced him to enroll in the Hampton Institute. A stand-out athlete in three sports, Williams graduated in 1909 and soon became the Institutes director of physical training. It was soon after he recognized the need for consistent rules and regulations in inter-collegiate events and the CIAA was born. Through the years Charles Williams held every executive post in the organization. A trail blazer, in 1922 Williams applied for and was accepted into the American Football Coaches Association as one of its original members and the first African-American. Along with John Heisman, Knute Rockne, Fielding Yost and Dana X. Bible, Williams helped shape the way college football was played. Retiring in 1951, Williams remained close to the organization he helped found until he passed away in 1978. The Hampton Institute named the recreation building after their influential alumni and in 2005 was named the inaugural winner of the American Football Coaches Association’s Trailblazer Award.


From the CIAA’s first meeting in 1912, Charles Williams' tireless efforts to improve African-American collegiate athletics and his conquering of racial boundaries inspired countless others. This collection of documents, including the initial papers of their first ever meeting is of tremendous historical significance. These items comprise a museum-quality collection of black sports history, begun by Charles Williams a full 35 years before Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier. It is with great pleasure and reverence that Goldin Auctions is able to bring this historically important collection from this remarkable man to light.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $11,750.00
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
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