Ohio Baseball
and Integration

Hotel Workers
and Black Baseball

Dr. Grady Orange

East-West All Star Game

The Bankheads of Empire

Monrovians v. Klan Lodge #6

In June 1925, a black exhibition team called the Monrovians was able to schedule a baseball game versus the Lodge #6 of the Ku Klux Klan. The announcement of the game was printed in the Wichita Beacon newspaper.

Even during the time that the Negro Leagues were formed, there were a number of "semi-professional" and community teams playing baseball all around the country. The Monrovians would have been among those lesser-known teams playing in southwestern Kansas and could have traveled to many places in the region. It was not uncommon for these teams to play against teams with white players and in majority white communities. How they may have been received in these towns varied from town to town. It is argued that Wichita was a rather "opened minded" community on race issues.

Still, it would seem very unusual for the team to play against the infamous Ku Klux Klan. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan had original origins after the Civil War as a group proclaiming, "white rights" and intimidating blacks trying to establish themselves. The group dissipated and then revived in 1915 in reaction against immigration and increasing demands by blacks for civil rights. The nationalistic, anti-Catholic, often anti-Semitic, separatist, group was made up of lower-middle class whites living in the southwest, Midwest, and parts of California and the Northwest. In 1925, it reached its height of membership when it claimed 5 million members, with key figures involved in some state governments.

So, how does a minor black baseball team schedule a game with a Klan chapter in the heart of "Klan Country" at the height of its influence?

Wichita Beacon article, June 21, 1925
Sources: Kansas Historical Journal, American Epoch

Rube Foster photo