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Berston Field House in Flint, broke segregation's back

Flint's Berston Field House


Berston Field House, on Flint's north side became a beacon for recently arrived blacks from the south and everywhere else, seeking better paying jobs than the cotton-fields and small time jobs back home could ever give them. But how this worked, was that 'mama' and 'dad' would be at work for G.M. at one of the many plants in town, and while 'Junior' or 'little sweety,' would be hard at play honing their craft and skills, on the hardwood and grass-laden athletic court's.

You may not know, but Flint, Michigan, has one of the greatest athletic histories...

Why the 'house' would be the first in the city of Flint to do this is unclear; but the signage out front of Berston makes it very plain why this was significant to fair-minded people of any persuasion or color. It was just the right thing to do and blacks back then didn't get too philosophical and question why they had the chance, they just took and ran away with it.

Undoubtedly, they suffered the same indignities that 'black aviation' pioneers like the 'Black Eagle,' who actually was Hubert Julian Fauntleroy and Bessie Coleman, the first female licensed pilot and 'ballers' during in the "Black Fives Eras" and the "Negro Leagues" endured; but today with the super-rich-contracts athletes are getting who really cares now. An aside to this discussion, is the fact that Flint's only Heisman Trophy winner, 'Bama's' too, Mark Ingram Jr. has moved in and Reggie Bush, apparently had to move out of the New Orleans Saint's backfield.

So Berston Field House is critical to understanding why young athletes have emerged from Flint, in record numbers with record producing numbers. Whereas, Detroit had 'Motown' and Chicago had the music of Curtis Mayfield back in the day, and vindicated music producer R. Kelly, and rapper Common; Flint had General Motors and Berston Field House and in fact it is still producing future athletes for tomorrow's front sport's page and highlight reels. See: the series: "They-broke-into-the-not-so-friendly-skies" by this writer, March 1, 2010

No doubt the artist's Lavarne Ross, and Al Foster, are sitting back, high five-ing each other, on a mural that was well done and has been well recieved by those witnessing it firsthand. While the rest of us hope some day that they will muralize us.