Gov. Patrick reads to Springfield students - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gov. Patrick reads to Springfield students for Black History Month

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Governor Deval Patrick read to a group of Springfield students Tuesday. Governor Deval Patrick read to a group of Springfield students Tuesday.

Gov. Deval L. Patrick celebrated Black History Month on Tuesday at William N. DeBerry Elementary School.

Gov. Patrick read A Homerun for Bunny to a group of students. Recently published by Springfield College professor and author Richard Andersen, the book is an account of Post 21, a Springfield-based American All-Star Legion baseball team in 1934 and their sole black teammate "Bunny" Taliaferro.

The story depicts the courage, loyalty and friendship displayed by a group of Springfield athletes when they unexpectedly found themselves face-to-face with racial prejudice codified by Jim Crow laws of the old South.

Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick said the story of Post 21 is well known by many older Springfield residents, but had become little known among the younger generations.

"We consider it an honor and privilege for the governor to share in the pride we feel as a community in celebrating the stance a group of our young people took in support of equality during a very difficult and painful time in our nation's history," said Warwick. "For our students to hear that story as told by the first African-American governor of our Commonwealth makes it even more powerful and meaningful."

During his visit to DeBerry Elementary School, Gov. Patrick also toured the school and spoke with students and teachers about important moments in Black History.

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