China Isn’t Quite Ready For Its First Black Athlete

China’s got a ways to go with race relations; during the Olympics, they held many black people in custody because they were believed to be drug dealers. But the world is about to get its first look at China’s surprisingly heterogeneous population.

Ding Hui

Ding Hui will be China’s first black international athlete. The 19-year-old volleyballer has been named to the highly competitive national team, and is likely to make his Olympic debut in 2012. How are the notoriously exlusionary Chinese handling it?

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Indiana U. Pairs Black Pioneer With Segregationist

Bill Garrett was a local legend, named Indiana Mr. Basketball in 1947 and becoming the first African-American basketball player in the Big Ten. So Indiana University naturally wanted to honor him by renaming the arena where he once played. There were two problems with this. One, the arena already had a name, so it would have become the unwieldy William L. Garrett-Ora. L. Wildermuth Intramural Center. Two, Ora Wildermuth hated black people.

Bill Garrett

Wildermuth was IU’s board president in 1945 when he opposed the integration of the school. Hoosier trustees managed to ignore this fact when they approved the name change last week, but once Bill Garrett’s widow heard about it, she wasn’t having any of it.

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