The oral history consists of eleven digital files: 2011.174.88.1a, 2011.174.88.1b, 2011.174.88.1c, 2011.174.88.1d, 2011.174.88.1e, 2011.174.88.1f, 2011.174.88.1g, 2011.174.88.1h, 2011.174.88.1i, 2011.174.88.1j, and 2011.174.88.1k.
Basketball player William "Bill" Russell remembers his childhood in Louisiana and Oakland, California, in the 1940s. After winning two Final Fours with the University of San Francisco, he won an Olympic gold medal and an NBA championship playing for the Boston Celtics, one of thirteen Russell would win, including eight in a row. Russell had a difficult relationship with the sports media in Boston, but a better one with his Celtics teammates. He defends the organization as progressive on racial matters (as opposed to the Red Sox) and describes a post-retirement reconciliation with Boston that resulted in considerable Red Sox support for his mentoring organization and a statue of him, erected in 2013.
The oral history consists of nine digital files: 2011.174.103.1a, 2011.174.103.1b, 2011.174.103.1c, 2011.174.103.1d, 2011.174.103.1e, 2011.174.103.1f, 2011.174.103.1g, 2011.174.103.1h, 2011.174.103.1i.
John Carlos, Ph. D. discusses his childhood in Harlem, New York, the changes that he saw in Harlem with the widespread use of heroin and the splintering of families, and describes the disparities in education for black children when he was growing up. He remembers the influence of black leaders including Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Carlos was recruited to run track at East Texas State University, where he experienced racial discrimination and was treated poorly by his coach. He explains his protest at the 1968 Olympics, including the symbols that he and Tommie Smith employed to protest racial discrimination, and he describes the emotional impact that the protest had on him.