First African-American Football Player 1968

 Marcus Martin[1] was the first African American at North Carolina State to play on the varsity football team. The valedictorian of a small segregated high school in West Virginia, Martin attended N.C. State to pursue a double major in chemical engineering and pulp and paper technology. During the spring of his freshmen year he participated in football drills and then earned a spot on the practice squad. In 1968 Martin became the first black player to play on the varsity football team as he played in five games as defensive back and on kickoff returns.[2] That year an article in the Technician noted that the most significant breakthrough for “this years team” is the fact that finally the color barrier was broken.”[3]




[1] Jim Martin, Benching Jim Crow: The Rise and Fall of the Color Line in College (Chicago, University of Illinois Press, 2010), 56

[2]Historical State. ʺAfrican Americans, Timeline.ʺ Accessed October 25, 2014.‑Americans.

[3] The Technician Digitized Collection, North Carolina State University Special Collections, Raleigh, NC.Accessed November 1, 2014.