ALLIANCE – Lionel “Dowdy” Grimes, an Alliance native and member of "The Black 14," will give the University of Mount Union’s annual Black History Month Keynote at 7 p.m. Thursday in Brush Performance Hall.
The event is free and open to the public. Face coverings will be required.
Grimes, a retired marketing executive and franchised dealer of the Ford Motor Co., was named to the Alliance High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1968 after lettering in three sports and being named an All-Ohio football selection and basketball MVP in that same year.
After earning a scholarship to play football at the University of Wyoming, Grimes was one of 14 Black athletes removed from the team in 1969 after asking the head coach to wear armbands showing solidarity against racism. Shortly thereafter, Grimes transferred to the University of Findlay (then Findlay College), where he played baseball and earned a Bachelor of Science degree.
In 2017, Grimes was honored with the Barrier Breakers Award from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) at the University of Central Florida. During Black History Month in 2019, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award by the African American Diaspora Studies at the University of Wyoming.
This article originally appeared on The Repository: Lionel “Dowdy” Grimes to give Mount Union Black History Month Keynote.