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Roger Brown Residency

The Roger Brown Residency in Social Justice, Writing and Sport

The Roger Brown Residency celebrates the work of writers and the work of athletes in these struggles and brings the community together in dialogue about barriers to social justice as well as our hopes and aspirations for a more just society.

Past Roger Brown residencies
Wil Haygood, Inaugural Residency

Wil Haygood is a celebrated journalist and author, known for his 2008 Washington Post article that was the basis for the film The Butler, directed by Lee Daniels, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and the 2017 Patrick Henry Fellowship Literary Award.

He was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for his most recent book, Tigerland, about the legendary rise of an all-black segregated high school in Columbus, Ohio, that won two state championships in the year following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. A native of Columbus and a graduate of Miami University, Haygood also serves as a distinguished scholar-in-residence in Miami's Department of Media, Journalism and Film.

The residency marked Haygood's third visit to the University of Dayton. He was the keynote speaker for the University's 2018 Martin Luther King Day celebration and returned to campus in October 2018 for the Speaker Series to discuss Tigerland.

About Tigerland

Against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous periods in recent American history, as riots and demonstrations spread across the nation, the Tigers of poor, segregated East High School in Columbus, Ohio, did something no team from one school had ever done before: they won the state basketball and baseball championships in the same year. They defeated bigger, richer, whiter teams across the state and along the way brought blacks and whites together, eased a painful racial divide throughout the state, and overcame extraordinary obstacles on their road to success.

In Tigerland, Wil Haygood gives us a spirited and stirring account of this improbable triumph and takes us deep into the personal lives of these local heroes. At the same time, he places the Tigers’ story in the context of the racially charged sixties, bringing in such national figures as Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Richard Nixon, all of whom had a connection to the teams and a direct effect on their mythical season.


College of Arts and Sciences

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0800