How the Wave Rolls: Navigating Muddy Waters from Stephen Martin to the Cotton Bowl EP1

TTalk cover

We gathered to honor legends like Harold Sylvester, Charlie Hall, John Washington, Sharon Hill, and the enduring legacy of Stephen Martin Sr., whose stories of triumph and challenges during Black Alumni Weekend left us in awe. They, along with current student-athlete Sincere Haynesworth, peeled back layers of history, revealing the raw and real adjustments they faced in the realms of race, culture, and education. These conversations were an emotional homage to the spirit of resilience and the pursuit of equity in the athletic world, reminding us that the playing field is far more than just a piece of turf.

How the Wave Rolls: Navigating Muddy Waters from Stephen Martin to the Cotton Bowl.
TTalk Live: Black Alumni Weekend (recorded 2/24/24)

Moderator: Ro Brown renowned Sports Director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer;

  • Panelists:
    Dr. Stephen Martin, Jr. whose father was the first Black student-athlete at Tulane, the first baseball player and the first to play a varsity sport in the SEC;
  • Harold Sylvester award winning actor and writer, the first Black student-athlete at Tulane on an athletic scholarship and the first basketball player;
  • Charlie Hall and John Washington two of the first Black student-athletes to play football at Tulane;
  • Sharon Hill the first Black student-athlete to play Women’s basketball;
  • Sincere Haynesworth a captain of the 2023 Cotton Bowl Championship team and a recipient of the Stephen Martin Scholars Award.

(00:00) – Celebrating Black Athlete Stories
(10:34) – Stephen Martin, Sr.
(25:41) – The Seventies
(41:47) – Sharon Hill
(46:47) – Importance of Academics
(53:00) – Sincere Haynesworth
(01:08:05) – Q & A Memorable Impactful moments
(01:54:00) – Navigating College Athletics and Finances

Remembering Stephen Martin, Sr.

This podcast includes reflections on the remarkable life and legacy of Stephen Martin, Sr., an exceptional student-athlete who faced the challenges of segregation during his time at Tulane University. We discuss his decision to attend Tulane, sacrificing the chance to play his best sport, football. Despite the racial barriers of the era, Martin’s profound character and intelligence shine through as we recount his high school achievements and the systemic issues that shaped his collegiate athletic career. We touch upon the complicated factors that led to Martin’s unique path to Tulane, including withheld recruitment letters and the decision not to play football due to safety concerns. Martin’s baseball career at Tulane is highlighted, where he still faced significant racial threats, showcasing his courage and the harsh realities of the times. Through the recollections and perspectives shared, we honor Stephen Martin Sr.’s enduring impact as both an athlete and a human being.

To one of Tulane’s finest, Roll Wave!

Thanks to:
Podcast participants Ro Brown, Charlie Hall, John Washington, Sharon Hill, Sincere Haynesworth; and Harold Sylvester and Dr. Stephen Martin, Jr who also participated on the podcast planning committee along with Carmen Jones, Jim Becnel, Justin Thompson, Journe Smith and Zoe Yates.

Special Thanks to:
Tulane University Office of Alumni Relations
Black Alumni Network of Tulane University
Carolyn Barber-Pierre
Freret Media Group and Martin Family
Freeman School of Business – Office of the Dean
Paul Thomason – Broadcast & Production Service