The DESERT MASHIE CLUB was formed in 1946 by four African-American businessmen who had trouble finding places to play golf because of segregation. One public course in the Phoenix area allowed Blacks to play. The Desert Mashie Club became a premier event for black amateur golfers and still exists today as one of the oldest golf organizations in Arizona.
JIM “THE BLACK PANTHER” MITCHELL was a popular wrestler from Louisville, KY, who began wrestling in the 1930s. He was the first African American in modern professional wrestling. During the early years of his career, he was only allowed to wrestle Japanese and Hindu wrestlers. In 1949, he fought against Gorgeous George and was declared the loser. Audience Members felt that George had delivered cheap shots and bad sportsmanship and a riot erupted. Mitchell is listed among the greatest ten Black Wrestlers.
Offering a three-piece assemblage: a 9 x 11 printed registration form to the Ninth Annual Desert Mashie Club, Invitational Amateur Golf Tournament, April 28 -29, 1956, at the Encanto Golf Course, Phoenix, Arizona. Also included is the cover addressed to “Mr. Jim (Black Panther) Mitchell and an ALS from club secretary Jane Washington (n.d.), Manistee Ranch, Glendale, Arizona, with a personal invitation to Mitchell. In part, “...The golf tournament will be Saturday and Sunday...I am enclosing your new...1956 membership card. Please forward to me your dues for 1956, i.e. $9.00, as soon as possible so I can get your U.S.G.A. card filed before the tournament. Also mail to me at least six new scorecards – 10 is preferred – I have to send total scores to headquarters to verify your new handicap...Bill Bennett is now president of the golf club...”
The letter and form offer a wonderful example of the African American struggle through segregation in golf, professional wrestling – and a nearly forgotten African American hero and the original Black Panther.
Expected age toning to all three items. Folds to the letter and form. Else excellent.
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