Gene Washington discusses the desegregation of college football at MSU


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Gene Washington and his teammates at Michigan State University were members of the first, fully integrated college football team and paved the way for the next generation in college and pro football.

Gene’s daughter Maya made a film, Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, about Gene and other prominent black players at MSU.

Gene and Maya will also be at the West Michigan Spartans Tailgate celebrating the legacy of the 1965/1966 National Championship teams and the next generation tonight at the JW Marriott. For tickets to the event, click here.

About the film:

Through the Banks of the Red Cedar is about the desegregation of college football at Michigan State in the 1960s. It follows Gene Washington and other prominent black players journeys from the segregated south to Michigan State at the peak of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

Duffy Daugherty’s 1965 & 1966 National Champions were the first fully-integrated college football team in America. While a few schools in the North and West saw one or two African American players prior to that era, Michigan State’s teams were the first to look more like what we see on the field today.

The film is told through a present-day father/daughter story as filmmaker Maya Washington traces her dad’s footsteps over the course of a modern Michigan State Football Season.

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