Monte Irvin: “the only thing a black youth could aspire to be was a bellboy”

Monte Irvin

I was all-state in four sports in New Jersey, but sometimes I couldn’t get served at a restaurant two blocks from my high school. There were no job opportunities then… the only thing a black youth could aspire to be was a bellboy or a pullman or an elevator operator, or, maybe, a teacher. There was a time when all we had was black baseball.

– Monte Irvin, baseball star in the Negro League and then in the MLB