William “Bill” Russell Oral History Interview

Created by
Civil Rights History Project, American, founded 2009
Interview of
Bill Russell, American, born 1934
Interviewed by
Branch, Taylor, American, born 1947
Subject of
University of San Francisco, American, founded 1855
National Basketball Association, American, founded 1946
Boston Celtics, American, founded 1946
Major League Baseball, American, founded 1869
Boston Red Sox, American, founded 1901
Medium
digital
Dimensions
Duration: 03:07:25
Type
video recordings
oral histories
digital media - born digital
Place collected
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, California, United States, North and Central America
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date
May 12, 2013
Description
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.
LOC ID: afc2010039_crhp0088
Topic
African American
Activism
American West
Athletes
Baseball
Basketball
Civil rights
Education
Olympics
Race relations
Social reform
United States--History--1933-1945
United States--History--1945-1953
United States--History--1953-1961
United States--History--1961-1969
United States--History--1969-2001
United States--History--2001-
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Object number
2011.174.88.1a-k
Restrictions & Rights
© Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title
Civil Rights History Project
Classification
Media Arts-Film and Video
Data Source
National Museum of African American History and Culture

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