Breaking Barriers: Women in The Big Leagues

Breaking Barriers: Women in The Big Leagues

We meet a local legend who crashed through racial and gender lines to play professional men's baseball in the era of the Negro League.

It's a unique view of life in the early 20th Century. During a time of racial segregation and strict gender lines, a young African American girl grew up to play professional baseball. We meet local legend Mamie Johnson, the first woman to pitch for a Negro League Baseball team, and one of only three women to play in the League at all. And we explore what her story can teach us about American history and our favorite past time.


Mamie "Peanut" Johnson

pitcher, Indianapolis Clowns, Negro League Baseball (1953-55) ; and subject of the children's book "A Strong Right Arm" (Puffin Press);

Susan Reyburn

historian; and co-author of Baseball Americana (Smithsonian Books)

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.