Black College Football Celebrates 130 Years

On December 27, 1892, the first Black College Intercollegiate football was played between Biddle College (John C. Smith College) and Livingston College.

The Livingston Bears were officially organized in the fall of 1892. The team included JW Walker (captain), WJ Trent (manager), RJ, Rencher, Henry Lives, CN, Garland, JR Dillard, JBA Yelverton, Wade Hampton and Charles. H Patrick, JJ Taylor, FH Cummings. As described in his 1930 edition of the college newspaper, his members of the team purchased prescribed footballs and uniforms, and players put cleats on his shoes on the street and took them off after practice.

A young woman from the school’s industry department made uniforms for the players for the first game. WJ Trent scored Livingston’s only touchdown in a fumble recovery. By then, snow had covered the markings on the field, and Biddle claimed the fumble had recovered out of bounds. (courtesy AAREG)

Biddle won the contest 5-0.

In 1956, an athletic marker was erected in Livingston to honor this historic match.

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