Set in 1945, the coach of an All- Negro female baseball team prepares a group of African- American females for an exhibition game against the all white girls team Rockford Peaches. Racism, deceit, betrayal are brought to light as this powerful drama unveils.
ABOUT THE PLAY
The play is inspired by the film a "LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN" which was based on the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. I was watching the film back in 2005 and there is a scene whereas an African American girl tosses the ball back to the Gena Davis character. She had this look on her face as if she should be playing in that league as well, but knew it was impossible based on her skin color. I immediately began my research to see if Black women actually played. To my surprise there were black women who played baseball in the Negro Leagues... but not with the AAGPBL teams. Come to find out a few of them showed up to try-out but was told they weren't allowed there. SO- I was inspired to write my version. A "what if" an all female Negro team was given an opportunity to play an exhibition game against the champion white team. I knew I wanted to write about a hard-nosed coach - who was tough but only because she wanted what was best for the girls in a time where Black women were considered less than white women. So "THE GIRLS OF SUMMER" was created in 2006. It went on to win the 2006 NAACP Award. Since then 10 different casts has brought this powerful story to life. Its last performance was in 2011 at the National Black Theatre Festival whereas it played to sold-out audiences. The play will be published in 2014 for companies all around the country to perform.
- Layon Gray
Images of Toni Stone, Connie Morgan and Mamie "Peanut" Johnson. All three played in the Negro Leagues but was denied the AAGPBL based on their skin and not their talent.
BLACK WOMEN WHO PLAYED
Although the name All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) is commonly used today, it was official for only two seasons. The league was founded as the All-American Girls Softball League. This lasted until 1943, when the name was changed to the All-American Girls Baseball League. In 1949 and 1950 the league was called the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and from 1951 to 1954 the league adopted American Girls' Baseball League. The Rockford Peaches won the most league championships with four (1945, 1948, 1949, 1950).