A Negro League Poet

I had the treat of listening to a former Negro League player give a poetry reading today.

Ernie Westfield Sr. (aka “Tennessee Ernie”) was a featured reader at “Read Across America” in town today.  Westfield is a former Negro League player who played for the Birmingham Barons in 1959-1965.  He was good enough to represent the East All-Star Team as the starting pitcher in 1960.


These days, Ernie lives in the Champaign-Urbana area and uses his fame to help troubled youth and educate people about Negro League baseball.

Those people who attended his reading at the “Read Across America” event and expected a lot of talk about baseball may have been surprised.  His message was primarily about bonding between children and parents as well as the importance of learning and education.

But I bet those people weren’t disappointed.

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2 Responses to “A Negro League Poet”

  1. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Westfield in Peoria Illinois on Oct.13,2007 at the Northwoods Mall. I brought my 12 year old son who is a baseball player and he was surprized that black players had such a hard time in a game that he takes for granted.
    Mr. Westfield read me a poem he had entitled” MY MOM”It was truely moving and the tears started to flow. I want to thank him for the gift he has for his fellow man with his poems of emotions.Thank you for a wonderful time for me and my son.

  2. yes, I think I remember Ernie reading My Mom at this event. It was a awesome poem.

    thanks for sharing..


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