Through the Banks of the Red Cedar
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Thursday, January 9, at 9 a.m.
In 1963, Michigan State Head Coach Duffy Daugherty recruited 23 African American football players from the American South. Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, a powerful documentary about the first fully integrated college football team in America, unfolds through the eyes of filmmaker and USC alumna Maya Washington, the youngest daughter of Michigan State Athletics Hall of Famer and 50 Greatest Vikings honoree Gene Washington. She retraces Gene’s footsteps from the segregated South to Michigan State, and later the NFL, revealing how scholarships impacted the lives of players of color, who were literally dropped into an integrated environment for the first time, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement in America.
A screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, her father, his teammate Clinton Jones, and USC professors Daniel Durbin and Ben Carrington about the themes and issues that the film explores, which remain relevant to this day.
Maya Washington is the award-winning writer, director, and producer of Through the Banks of the Red Cedar. Washington began her creative career as a child dancer-turned-musical-theatre-actor in the Twin Cities. While at USC, she studied acting, directing, film, and dramatic writing, which allowed her to explore her passion for storytelling in a variety of mediums, later pursuing her MFA in creative writing at Hamline University. Today, she works on everything from live theatre, commercials, and print ads, to web series, films, and television, and is regularly published in literary journals and reviews.
Gene Washington grew up under racial segregation in La Porte, Texas, and was recruited to play football and run track at Michigan State University at the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, becoming a member of the first fully integrated college football team in America through Duffy Daugherty’s recruitment pipeline, known as the Underground Railroad of College Football. Holding a BS and MS from Michigan State University, Washington is an inducted member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Michigan State University Athletics Hall of Fame, and was voted one of the 50 Greatest Minnesota Vikings of All Time.
Clinton Jones is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, who attended Michigan State University as a student athlete, running indoor and outdoor track and playing on the two-time National Champion football team. Jones was the second overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft. As a running back for the Minnesota Vikings from 1967 to 1972, Jones saw three Central Division championships and one NFL championship title, including an appearance in the 1970 Super Bowl. Jones is currently in practice as a chiropractic doctor alongside his wife, Rosielee Jones, in Los Angeles.
Daniel Durbin (host) teaches courses across a broad variety of subjects, including sports, sports media, the social and cultural impact of sports, social movements, classical and contemporary theories of rhetoric, and fashion and media. Durbin has published articles in sports, popular culture, and sports media studies.
Ben Carrington (moderator) is an associate professor of sociology and journalism in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Carrington studies a range of topics generally concerned with mapping the circulation and reproduction of power within contemporary postcolonial societies. More specifically, he is interested in how ideologies of race shape cultural forms, practices, and identities, and how popular culture is often a key site of cultural resistance and domination.
Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by Julianna Kirschner and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Co-sponsored by the USC Annenberg Institute of Sports, Media, and Society.