Author to Give Public Talk on History of African-American Athletes in Arkansas

Evin Demirel
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Evin Demirel

Evin Demirel, author of African-American Athletes in Arkansas: Muhammad Ali's Tour, Black Razorbacks and Other Forgotten Stories, will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in Room 103 of the HPER Building on the University of Arkansas campus.

The recreation and sport management program in the College of Education and Health Professions is sponsoring the event. It is free and open to the public. The U of A Bookstore will sell Demirel's book before and after the event, and he will be available to sign them. The book was published earlier this year by ED Productions.

A Little Rock native, Demirel previously wrote feature stories for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He has also written for the New York Times, Daily Beast, SLAM magazine and Arkansas Money & Politics. He graduated from the University of Arkansas.

His book is an anthology of Arkansas’ rich African-American sports heritage, including a team of “Black Razorbacks” who scrimmaged at the segregated UA in the 1930s and a detailed look at the controversies surrounding Ali's 1969 college lecture tour of the state.

"As part of the 'Athletics and Higher Education' class, we discuss the challenges that faced Arkansas and other southern schools in integrating their athletic programs," said Steve Dittmore, associate professor of recreation and sport management. "Evin's book brings to life the people playing and coaching and promoting sports in those days."


Heidi S. Wells, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions


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