In the end we were partially able to answer our initial research question. We discovered 6 Black athletes that had enough information on them to use in our research: Tom Flanagan, Wilbur Flanagan, Rhett Jenkins, Phil Johnson, Irv Johnson and Eugene Mumford. Unfortunately, we were not able to uncover any Black female athletes.
When it comes to said Black student athlete’s experiences, some were easier to document than others. In the end we were not able to accurately detail the experiences of every athlete. However, in the cases of some of them, we were able to assume what their experiences may have been like, based on events and movements happening during the time period they were on campus. Nonetheless, assumptions are not always accurate.
Hopefully, this project will encourage others at the University of Scranton and at other universities to dive deeper into the history of their Black athletics and give people their due recognition.
Year: Class of 2025
Hometown: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Major: International Studies
Year: Class of 2025
Hometown: Pittstown, New Jersey
Year: Class of 2025
Hometown: Great Bend, Pennsylvania
Year: Class of 2025
Hometown: Northport, New York
While searching for information on Black athletes that had been students at the University of Scranton it became obvious that our primary sources would mainly consist of newspaper clippings. The bulk of said newspaper clippings were from the Aquinas, Scranton Times and Scranton Tribune.
The majority of newspaper clippings that were utilized in our research came from the University of Scranton Digital Collections archive. Within the digital archive, we used specific search terms, such as, “Black athlete”, “Negro athlete”, “colored athlete”, etc. This would lead us to hundreds of newspaper clippings to search through.
However, not all sources were relevant or useful for our research purposes. Oftentimes we ran into the dilemma of there being no information pertaining to Black athletics in the articles that would come out of searches, due to glitches and flaws in the search engine.
Another issue we ran into was that there are limited sources available on Black athletes in general. As much as we wanted to pick and choose our athletes, there are only so many to choose from. This simply goes to show that historically at the University of Scranton, there is a lack of representation for Black athletics.
Hopefully, this research will be part of a movement to bring further recognition to Black athletics at the university.
“Army Capt. Rhett Jenkins.” Scrantonian, March 26, 1978. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/70669/rec/9.
Baroff, H. “Football Team, 1947,” 1947. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/p15111coll2/id/755/.
Brian Toolan. “Royals Eliminate Albright, 84-72: Lycoming Foe In MAC Final.” Scranton Tribune, February 25, 1978.
“Carlesimo Switches Backfield Starters For Georgetown.” Scranton Times, November 14, 1946.
Donald Huff. “Johnsons Buoy Scranton Hopes,” December 24, 1977. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/sports/1977/12/24/johnsons-buoy-scranton-hopes/2f123430-8323-4bda-bfae-412033354162/.
athletics.scranton.edu. “Five Former Royal Standouts Named to MAC All-Century Teams.” The University of Scranton Athletics, March 12, 2013. https://athletics.scranton.edu/sports/mbkb/2012-13/releases/mb_march_12.
“Football Players, 1946,” September 1946. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/p15111coll2/id/598/rec/8.
“Football Players Mike DeNoia and Wilbur Flanagan, 1946,” October 1946. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/p15111coll2/id/756.
“‘Gene The Machine’ Registers 1,000.” The Aquinas, n.d. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/aquinas/id/4532/rec/81.
gomacsports.com. “Hall of Fame: Irv Johnson,” n.d. https://gomacsports.com/hof.aspx?hof=120.
“Hanging Out Monday Morning’s Quarterback.” Scranton Tribune, September 25, 1944. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/67322/rec/6.
legacy.com. “Harold Thomas Flanagan Sr.” The Time Tribune, November 19, 2009. https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/thetimes-tribune/name/harold-flanagan-obituary?id=22997344.
“Irv Johnson All-American Again.” Scranton Times, March 21, 1978. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/71620/rec/45.
Jack Seitzinger. “Irv Johnson’s at His Best When the Going Gets Rough.” Scrantonian, January 23, 1977. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/10762/rec/22.
———. “Like Wine, Johnson Gets Better With Age.” Scrantonian, February 3, 1980. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/33144/rec/10.
———. “Miernicki Leads Royals Past Lycoming: Phil Johnson Scores 1,000th Career Point.” Scranton Tribune, December 9, 1977. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/10828/rec/11.
———. “Phil Johnson 4 Away From 1,000-Point Club.” Scrantonian, December 4, 1977. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/10840/rec/4.
———. “Phil Johnson Cast in Role As ‘Team Leader’ of Royals.” Scrantonian, January 9, 1977.
———. “Royals’ Irv Johnson Awarded All-America 2nd Team Berth.” Scranton Tribune, March 10, 1978. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/71920/rec/46.
“Jenkins Declared Ineligible: Assumption Causes Removal.” The Aquinas, May 12, 1965. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/aquinas/id/3893/rec/14.
John M McCormick. “Mumford Took It All in Stride.” Scranton Times, February 15, 1981. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/69595/rec/1.
“Meet The 1968-69 Royals.” The Aquinas, December 13, 1968, Vol. 41, No. 6 edition.
Michael A. Mecca. “The Purple Spotlight.” The Aquinas, September 6, 1946. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/aquinas/id/1832/rec/3.
“Mumford High Scorer Superstar For Future?” The Aquinas, March 1, 1968.
“Program: Albright College vs. University of Scranton, November 1, 1947.” University of Scranton. Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, November 1, 1947. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/p15111coll2/id/2757/rec/1.
Rich Chvotkin. “Rhett ‘The Jet’ Shooting Leads Way To Royal Triumphs.” The Aquinas, February 11, 1966. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/aquinas/id/4036/rec/11.
“Royals Ready For Playoffs Jenkins Scores 1,00th Pt.” Aquinas, February 24, 1967. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/aquinas/id/4155/rec/7.
Ryan, Ray. “Canisius Tackles Scranton Sunday.” Buffalo Courier-Express, October 21, 1948. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/63758/rec/14.
Spivey, Donald. “The Black Athlete in Big-Time Intercollegiate Sports, 1941-1968.” Phylon (1960-) 44, no. 2 (1983): 116–25. https://doi.org/10.2307/275023.
“Statistical Data of Tomcat Football.” Scranton Times, November 30, 1944. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/67637/rec/15.
athletics.scranton.edu. “The University of Scranton Wall of Fame,” n.d. https://athletics.scranton.edu/wall_of_fame/WALL/MUMFORD.HTML.
“Thomas Flanagan,” December 3, 1944. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/67643/rec/1.
“Tommies Rally to Outscore St. Vincent’s, 27 to 19: Losers Pass for Three 2nd Period Touchdowns.” Scranton Tribune, November 24, 1947. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/63349/rec/5.
athletics.scranton.edu. “University of Scranton 125th Anniversary: A History of Athletics,” n.d. https://athletics.scranton.edu/General_Information/Athletics_125th_anniversary_timeline.pdf.
“WEJL Athlete of the Week: Royals’ Irv Johnson.” Scranton Times, January 9, 1978. https://digitalservices.scranton.edu/digital/collection/clippings/id/10906/rec/107.