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History has not recorded who the first African American was to sign a contract with the American Football League. The AFL actively recruited African American players and players from historically African American colleges. The Kansas City Chiefs, in 1963, were the first team to make the #1 pick in the draft an African American (Hall of Famer Buck Buchanan from Grambling). Among the African American that played in the AFL's inagural season of 1960 include Jim Hunt, Elbert Dubinion, Clem Daniels, Abner Haynes, Art Powell, Gene Mingo, Lionel Taylor, Ernie Wright, and Paul Lowe.

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15y ago
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14y ago

Charles Follis, with the Shelby Athletic Club in 1902. When Follis retired from professional football in 1906, he was replaced that same year by Charles "Doc" Baker, the second African-American pro-football player. Baker played two years as a running back with the Akron Indians.

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11y ago

Larry Tearry was the first starting black center in the history of the National Football League. Tearry, who played college football at Wake Forest University, was drafted in the fourth round by The Detroit Lions in 1978. He became the starting center after the fourth game of his rookie season and held the position until he left the Lions after the twelfth game of his sophomore season.

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Q: Who was the first black player in the American football league?
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