Alabama Crimson Tide: 1967 and the Undercurrents of Integration The First Five---Before the Season Changed
Alabama Crimson Tide: 1967 and the Undercurrents of Integration The First Five—Before the Season Changed
Over the years, quite a few people have written about the story of The First Five. There are several versions of the integration story and there are many commentaries on those University of Alabama Crimson Tide days. To my knowledge, none of us First Five who were actually there as participants have recorded the events of the times as weexperienced them. I was the only one of the first five who survived and returned after the spring A-Day game of 1967; therefore, my account of events may be more comprehensive and enriching than others’ accounts. This book, I would wager, presents the historicity of those things of which I write, more accurately than any other written account.
The title of this book is a bit of a spin-off of Prof. John David Briley’s book Career in Crisis, Paul Bear Bryant and the 1971 Season of Change. Prof. Briley’s book shed some light on the season before the change, but with an emphasis on the changing season itself and its aftermath; however, the focus of this book highlights significant and relevant events before the season changed, interspersed with my commentary on race—which lies at the heart of this memorialization. It is almost impossible to write a book such as this, on the integration of sports at the University of Alabama in 1967, without discussing the multi-faceted construct of race, and I will not attempt such a feat in this book. If we were five white walk-ons in 1967, I am quite sure that there would have been no notice taken. There were white walk-ons in the fall of 1967, but there is no notoriety regarding their efforts; that’s the way it should have been with The First Five in 1967, but segregation created The First Five.