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Atlanta Black Crackers oral history interviews

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 1200

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains oral history interviews with former members of the Atlanta Black Crackers, including Donn Clendenon, Harry "Squab" Jones, Joe Lockhart, and James "Red" Moore. The collection also includes interviews with Hank Aaron; former owner Billie Harden; Atlanta Daily World sports reporter Ric Roberts; and Atlanta Daily World sports editor Marion Jackson. Allen Joyce conducted the interviews between 1973-1974 as part of the research for his Master's thesis, "The Atlanta Black Crackers" (Emory University, 1975).


  • 1973-1974

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Historical Note

The Atlanta Black Crackers were a Negro League baseball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The club was founded in 1919, by a group of local businessmen and began their first season as the Atlanta Cubs. By the end of the season, the team changed its name to the Atlanta Black Crackers after the city's white minor league team, the Atlanta Crackers. The club recruited players from local leagues and colleges such as Morris Brown and Morehouse, and were known as formidable opponents. In 1920, the team joined the Negro Southern League (NSL). Financial difficulties caused the team to dissolve before the end of the season, however, and it did not return to league play until 1925. The Black Crackers continued to struggle for several years, dissolving again by 1928. Efforts to revive the club were launched in 1935 and 1936, but were not completely successful. In 1937, John Harden and his wife Billie assumed ownership of the club. A year later, the Black Crackers moved to the Negro American League (NAL), winning the season's second half championship. In 1939, financial concerns moved the club to Indianapolis, Indiana where they played as the ABCs. The team was unsuccessful in Indiana and Harden decided to move the club back to Atlanta. As a result, the club was expelled from the NAL and disbanded until 1943. After two successful years, the team won both halves of the 1945 season to become the NSL champions. The Black Crackers disbanded permanently in 1949, four years after the integration of the major leagues.


.5 linear ft. (1 box)


The collection contains oral history interviews with former members and owners of the Atlanta Black Crackers, as well as Atlanta sports journalists.

Arrangement Note

Arranged alphabetically by interviewee.


Gift, 2011


Processed by Sarah Quigley, 2011.

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Atlanta Black Crackers oral history interviews
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
October 4, 2011
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States