Paul W. Bryant Museum opens Breaking Barrier exhibit highlighting first integrated UA athletes

Local News

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa has unveiled a new exhibit celebrating integration of other races into University of Alabama athletics.

The exhibit features key moments in UA history when Coach Bryant was involved in taking the necessary steps to recruit non-white athletes, starting with Wendall Hudson of the UA Basketball Team in 1969.

The new Breaking Barriers exhibit is a permanent addition to the museum located at the heart of the building.

As illustrated in the Breaking Barriers exhibit, Coach Paul W. Bryant was critical in integrating non-white athletes into the programs. His efforts have paved the way for leaders like now-Head Coach Nick Saban. (Courtesy: AP)

The new addition features both well-known and lesser-known moments in Crimson Tide history. It features when UA’s Basketball Head Coach C.M. Newton needed help recruiting Wendall Hudson. UA Athletic Director at the time, Paul Bryant, assisted in the effort.

Coach Bryant eventually took their case to play integrated teams to the state capitol to convince then-Governor John Patterson.

The Breaking Barriers exhibit also features more recent history and details the paths of some of the school’s first integrated athletes, such as John Mitchell and Wilbur Jackson.

The exhibit will now permanently sit inside the Paul W. Bryant Museum. Plan your visit the exhibit by clicking here.

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