George Taliaferro Dies At Age 91
George Taliaferro, All-American and star of the undefeated Indiana University Hoosiers of 1945, has passed away at age 91 according to the IndyStar.
Beyond his college accolades, Taliaferro was the first African-American drafted to an NFL team in 1949 by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round.
His college career was also groundbreaking in that Taliaferro was also the first African-American to lead The Big Ten in rushing during the aforementioned 1945 season.
Taliaferro’s athletic feats are to be respected, but let’s be clear. George Taliferro was a G, capital, whether he was wearing shoulder pads or not. Evidence of his gangsta lies in another IndyStar piece written back in 2015. It details his time spend at IU in a time when Black folks weren’t exactly welcomed with open arms.
He had been in school a few years when he showed up at the Princess Theater with ticket money and a screwdriver. It was a Tuesday, when the “colored” section was closed, but Taliaferro was given a ticket and headed for the balcony. Not to sit in it. But to emancipate it.
“In full daylight I removed … two … screws and took that sign down,” Taliaferro says. “And then I sat downstairs and watched a movie.”
Smother George Taliaferro’s name with respect.
Rest in peace, sir.