55 years later, Charleston's 1955 Cannon Street Youth All-Stars honored

The 1955 Cannon Street Y All-Stars—the Charleston black Little League team whose discrimination 55 years ago has become a nationally known case—were recognized on June 5.[[wysiwyg_imageupload:5:]]Little League

At noon, Mayor Joseph P. Riley dedicated a plaque honoring the team at the Cannon Street YMCA, at 61 Cannon Street. The ceremony, explains Agustus Holt, the team’s historian, will honor everyone who participated in any of the Cannon Street Y’s sports teams, not just the group who played on the All-Star team.

“It’s about time the team receives this recognition,” says Agustus Holt, whose work over many years has helped bring the team’s story to the nation’s attention. “Not just for these individuals, though they deserve it, but to make sure that we all affirm that no children should be discriminated against as the boys of the ’55 team were.

ABC News 4 was there for the event and has a nice video.

History about the team

Fifty-five years ago, in 1955, the Cannon Street Y baseball players were the victims in one of South Carolina’s most important civil-rights battles. That year all the white Little League teams in the entire South refused to play the Cannon Street team, the only all-black team in the various tournaments. The team first won the Charleston-area tournament by default when all of the other local teams withdrew from the tournament. Soon after that, the same thing happened at the South Carolina state tournament and the southern regional tournament.

The national Little League declared the Cannon Street Y team champions of those tournaments, as they were the only group willing to play. However, the national organization refused to let the Charleston players take part in the Little League World Series because of a rule that required teams participating in the World Series to have won games. Because the white teams had boycotted all the earlier tournaments, the Cannon Street team suffered.

Soon after that, Danny Jones, director of the Little League in South Carolina and the driving force behind the boycott, started a new all-white league that eventually became known as the Dixie League.

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