During the first week in September 1983, Norman Bryant met with Max Brandon to share an idea he had about starting a Hall of Fame for black athletes from the Flint area. Max and Norman became so engrossed in the idea that they talked at least four hours about the subject. After that meeting, Norman decided to call a meeting to organize the Hall of Fame Committee.
The first meeting was scheduled to meet at the Safety Zone Restaurant in September 1983. However, because of the closing of the restaurant, Max Brandon suggested the Norman contact Bill Hamilton to see if Berston Field House was available. It was – and the first official meeting of the Hall of Fame met in October of 1983.
Attending the first meeting were: Bill Hamilton, Max Brandon, Jim Luckado, Dr. Douglas Wright, Norman Bryant, Gerald Moore and W.B. Moore. It was decided at that meeting to invite other people to the next meeting. Attending the second meeting were: Mancine Broome, Robin Fields, Erma Martin, JoAnn Reed, Joe Byrd, Owen Jackson, Jimmy Jones, and Norman Graham. It was suggested by Gerald Moore that Norman Bryant be appointed chairperson until an election of officers could be held. Seeing that Norman was the founder of the Hall of Fame, everyone agreed. It was also suggested that we contact the Detroit Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame for any assistance they could offer us. As a result of that contact, Norman Bryant, Willie Fields and Eurol Woods traveled to Detroit and met with Art Finney and Elmer Anderson, co-founders of the Detroit Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame.
The first Hall of Fame officers were as follows: Norman Bryant, President; Max Brandon, Vice-President; JoAnn Reed, Secretary; Erma Martin, Financial Secretary; Gerald Moore, Treasurer; W.B. Moore, Historian; Norman Graham, Parliamentarian. The first cash donation from Dr. Douglas Wright enabled the committee to operate. Later the committee sold jackets, T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, patches and pennants to help finance the Hall of Fame.
On Sunday, February 24, 1985, the Hall of Fame held its first induction ceremony at Bosley’s Restaurant. Dave Bing was our guest speaker. Inductees that year were: James R. Johnson, Huston “Mickey” McKell, Percy McClellan, James McCrary and Al Washington.
Since that first induction, we added some highlights that worked well for a number of years, and as with most new things, changes have been made for the better. The following list includes things we have done over the past few years: presented Outstanding Community Service Awards; given monetary gifts to a male and female senior high school student that excelled in sports as well as academics; Honorable Mention of outstanding athletes that did not meet the criteria to be inducted into the Hall of Fame; Award for Outstanding Hall of Fame Club Member of the Year. As mentioned before, changes have been made and we no longer have those awards at this time.
Our goal is to preserve and exhibit the history of former Flint African American professional, college, city, high school and sandlot players and teams from as early as possible to an undetermined date.
Our Motto: To Preserve, Not Compete