checkers in the Jim Crow south

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checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby author on Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:14 pm

Hello, I'm a children's author working on a book about playing checkers in Birmingham AL at a time when it was unlawful for blacks and whites to play any sport, including checkers, together. I am looking for any first-hand accounts of playing checkers during this era, especially anecdotes of games between black and white players. I wondered if anyone on this board might be able to help me out on this. Thank you!
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby john reade on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:59 pm

Does anyone know why the Blacks played pool checkers whilst the Whites played straight checkers? Pool checkers is identical to German draughts (damespiel) as played in the 19th century. Was there a German presence in certain areas of America?
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby jaguar72 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:16 pm

author wrote:Hello, I'm a children's author working on a book about playing checkers in Birmingham AL at a time when it was unlawful for blacks and whites to play any sport, including checkers, together. I am looking for any first-hand accounts of playing checkers during this era, especially anecdotes of games between black and white players. I wondered if anyone on this board might be able to help me out on this. Thank you!


In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee mentions checkers and checker-playing (not between blacks and whites, however) two or three times.

It is, of course, the longest of long shots, but perhaps a letter to Miss Lee would be worthwhile.

V/R,

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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby George Hay on Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:01 am

author, for checkers in the United States the tradition was that whites played straight checkers, and blacks played pool checkers. I have wondered what the effect of segregation has been on checkers. Straight Checkers is ACF checkers. Pool Checkers, with men jumping backwards and kings moving like bishops in chess is APCA checkers. For 10x10 International Checkers, a.k.a. Big Board Checkers, a new American organization is ICAONA. For a portrait of an African-American straight checkers player see http://www.wylliedraughts.com/ under Famous Players and you will find George M. Tanner. The APCA website has a history page, although it incorrectly identifies straight checkers champion Newell Banks as Newell Brooks(sic). I have learned much from the Dutch Historian Arie van der Stoep at http://www.draughtshistory.nl/ as well as Charles "Pecan" Thompson at http://hspccc.com/ Good luck with the book, and please keep us posted.
--George Hay...America plays checkers: straight, pool, and big board!
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby George Hay on Thu Feb 03, 2011 2:09 pm

Our friends at the ACF forum have interesting comments on Pool Checkers in General Discussion>>>Why Pool Checkers may be more popular than Straight Checkers. The last Post, to find the Topic, was on Feb. 21, 2008. Also, J.B. Alemanni has a history of various forms of checkers on his website. http://alemanni.pagesperso-orange.fr/index.html While the History section is general, if you click on the individual game, such as Pool, you get a specific history. Last but not least, Gary has convinced me to read To Kill a Mockingbird. --George Hay
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby jaguar72 on Thu Feb 03, 2011 6:29 pm

George Hay wrote:Last but not least, Gary has convinced me to read To Kill a Mockingbird. --George Hay


Excellent post, Mr. Hay.

Concerning To Kill a Mockingbird, you won't be disappointed...the book fully deserves every bit of the praise that has been heaped on it over the past fifty years.

The checkers allusions are very brief, however, but very good.

V/R,

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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby neilwenberg on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:05 am

This is an interesting subject to me, I did not realize this thread existed. I am avidly interested in military history and the Tuskeegee Airmen are one of the topics I have done research on. Also I enjoy pool checkers and except for the Barbadoes bunch most skilled black checker players play pool checkers, which is another fine game that whites should try. It took me 4 pool checker tournaments before I was able to win more than I lost at such an event, and I played in the bottom (blue ribbon) class.
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby neilwenberg on Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:07 am

I bet that Jay Hinershzitz has some interesting material on this topic, try to get him to submit some!!!
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby George Hay on Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:07 pm

I see that the American Pool Checkers Association history page now has the correct name of Newell Banks, "a grandmaster
and blindfold expert in Straight Checkers." Banks helped John Otis and Nathaniel Leach form the APCA in Detroit in 1960.
In 1961 the APCA was registered and granted a charter as a non-profit organization.
http://americanpoolcheckers.us/american ... hp/history

I was just browsing through the World of Pool Checkers website and saw the above link. Also in the World of Pool Checkers
is the "Library" and "e-library." Three "Spanish Pool" books contain much history including regional variations of the game
prior to the formation of the APCA.
http://poolcheckers.com/

--George Hay
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby tgf on Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:55 pm

Until recently Pool Checkers associated exclusively with the American Pool Checkers, but this has changed in the last several years, apparently Pool is played in other countries on other continents. The American Pool got influenced by the Straight Checkers players, who organized first tournaments and wrote first books, to use numeric notation and black making the first move.
But Pool is not Straight Checkers - the Russian and Brazilian games are much closer to its nature where checkers jump back and kings go long. In those games they use alphanumeric chess notation with white side moving first. For the developing countries who did not have their own notation yet, this was an opportune moment to set notation right, to enable them to quickly absorb the theory and practice from Russian books, magazines, games, etc.
What you refer to as "library" was developed the old numeric style, the e-library is set using chess notation. FMJD developed new PDN standards for the Pool Checkers (in addition to the American Pool Checkers); Aurora Borealis and Diagram Maker also now support the new Pool Checkers standards.

The OCL library was originally set on http://poolcheckers.com (Alex announced it on this forum in 2011) but later moved to my old site CheckersUSA.com as its own project.
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby neilwenberg on Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:47 pm

pool checkers is a great game! I am white and have been to several national pool checker tournaments and was always treated very well by all who were there.
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Re: checkers in the Jim Crow south

Postby tgf on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:20 am

Those of you interested in Pool Checkers - here is a wonderful shot, just click on the diagram to open animation and be mesmerized!
Image

To see more visit and enjoy my Pool Shots collection.
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