CIAA Kicks off 125 Years of Black College Football Celebration


Charlotte, N.C. – The 2017 football season marks the 125th anniversary of the first recorded black college football game, which began with two CIAA member institutions.  The CIAA will honor its rich football history throughout the season via the conference’s 125th anniversary campaign.  The campaign will highlight consequential moments in CIAA football history from former and current member institutions, records, statistics, and share the stories of CIAA student-athletes who excelled both on and off the field.  The celebration will also be displayed using a celebratory football championship logo.

In a snowstorm on December 27, 1892, Johnson C. Smith University, then named Biddle University, traveled for two days by horse and buggy to Salisbury, North Carolina to play against Livingstone College for the first-ever black college football contest.  The Golden Bulls defeated the Blue Bears 5-0 after a disputed Livingstone touchdown was called back by the official.  Every year, the two schools come together to celebrate this Commemorative Classic and this year we celebrate 125 years!

The CIAA will kick off the 2017 football season with its annual Football Media Day on Thursday, July 20th in Salem, Virginia.  Each of the CIAA’s twelve head football coaches, accompanied by two student-athletes, will take the stage for discussion regarding their football program, athletes, and the season schedule as teams anticipate the conference championship.

The historic Commemorative Classic between the Golden Bulls and Blue Bears will take place on November 4th at Livingstone’s Alumni Memorial Football Stadium.  The CIAA will host its annual Football Championship on November 11th at Salem Football Stadium and feature the CIAA Northern and Southern Division Champions.

For the first look at all celebratory CIAA football information and events related to the 125th anniversary campaign, please visit

Help us celebrate by using the 125th anniversary official hashtags on all social media platforms #CIAAFB and #HBCU125.

For live coverage, updates, and an opportunity to participate in the celebration, follow the CIAA on social media via Facebook (The CIAA), Twitter (@CIAAForLife), and Instagram (@CIAASports).

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