Talk examines struggle for racial equality for in Oxford


Smith History Library

The Panthers, formed because of Oxford Public School did not allow Black Americans on the school’s basketball team, played other Black teams in the Tri-state area from 1919 into the 1930s. Games were played on the upper level of the town hall.

Black Americans lived in Oxford before the Civil War, and by the late 19th century comprised almost 20% of the village’s population. Before the turn of the century, Black residents established multiple churches, held public office and integrated Oxford Public School.

This history, as well as the continued struggle for equality as the Great Migration brought more Black Americans from Southern states, will be the subject of a free lecture by Valerie Edwards Elliot at 2 p.m. Feb 7 in the Miami Art Museum.

Edwards Elliott retired as head of the Smith Library of Regional History for the Lane Public Libraries. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from Miami and a master’s degree in library science from Indiana University.