KET Will Premiere Broadcast of “Black in Blue” Documentary Today, April 20.

by Duke Magazine
Statue of the four black Americans (Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett, and Houston Hogg)

The story of the four brave individuals who broke the color barrier in the SEC time will be premiere today at 9 p.m. EST. “Black in Blue”, a documentary created by award-winning director and former Kentucky graduate Paul Wagner, details how Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett, and Houston Hogg were the driving force in paving a new path for African-Americans in collegiate sports.

Back in 1967, Nate Northington and Greg Page became the first African-American scholarship athletes to play in the SEC with Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg courageously following in their footsteps. Wagner, who was a student at the same time as all four football players, helps tell the untold stories of how they were able to make such a significant change despite the odds being stacked up against them. 

Here is an excerpt on the film from its official website: 

On September 30, 1967, University of Kentucky football player Nate Northington became the first black scholarship athlete to play sports in the Southeastern Conference – the college sports league that was the symbol and substance of white supremacy in the South. But as Nate entered the game against Ole Miss, his achievement was the last thing on his mind. That morning, Nate learned that his teammate, roommate, and fellow civil rights pioneer, Greg Page, had died, died in a manner so tragic, that it would hang like a dark cloud over Nate’s achievement.

Three weeks later, a despondent Nate left the team and the university. But two other black players who had been recruited to UK, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg, would pick up the baton of change, facing racism on campus at Kentucky and, especially, on trips to games in the deep south. Ultimately, their courage and the bonds of team loyalty between the black and white players would insure the success of integration at UK and all across the south. 

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