Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jerry Gaines Broke a Barrier at Virginia Tech

Jerry Gaines has been a heavy lifter all his life, always willing to take on the big challenges, and he's never made decisions lightly. So when he decided to leave segregated Crestwood High in Virginia Beach, Va., to compete in track at predominantly white Churchland High in Portsmouth, Va., during the 1966-67 school year, Gaines fully considered the ramifications. He enrolled at an integrated school where his athletic prowess could be showcased, but he carried with him the heavy burden of leaving his friends behind. That burden stayed with him for decades.

The choice paid off. While his former classmates at Crestwood stayed shackled by segregation's cruel restrictions on opportunities for African-Americans, Gaines became the first African-American scholarship athlete in the history of Virginia Tech.

Click here to read Richard Lapchick's feature on ESPN.com "Jerry Gaines paved the way at Virginia Tech."


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home