Frankie Allen headshot

Frankie Allen

Venable School, Lane High School, Albemarle High School

In the sixth grade, they had what they call the citywide elementary school flag football teams.  And so, anyway, those guys that came and sat down at the table the first, “You’re going to play football with us,” and, “Frankie’s a good player,” and all that.  And so, anyway, we were out there trying out for the team.  This is citywide, so Venable had a team, and the other four or five that weren’t integrated, elementary schools, had their teams.  So, I was pretty good.  I do remember the PE teacher, coach.  His name was Bryant Bibb, Mr. Bibb, and I think the principal’s Mr. Robertson.  Y’all may check that back in 1960.  But we were out there trying out for the team.  After about a week or so into practicing and all of this — and we lived right across the street from the school — Mr. Bibb and Mr. Robinson had said they wanted to speak with my parents about this citywide.  And so, we were sitting in the living room.  They were saying, “Well, you know, Frankie, he’s a really good player.  We really love him,” and all of that, “but we really feel that it would be hard for him to go over to Belmont.”  And I knew there were other, Johnson and Clark — I can’t remember — the elementary schools, “and probably put him in a position of danger,” or whatever the word they use, “awkward position because it’s just some people are not going to accept this.”  So, my mother said, “Let me just ask you a question.  Is he good enough to be on the team?”  And so, “Oh, he’s probably the best player,” whatever.  So, anyway, she looked at me, “Do you want to play?”  I said, “Yeah, I want to play.”  She said, “Well, he’s going to be on the team if he said he’s going to play.”