Thanks to exhibits at two venues — Laman Public Library in North Little Rock and the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock — now is a good time to learn more about the Negro Leagues, through historic photographs and contemporary art.
Mosaic Templars, at 9th and Broadway, opens the exhibit “Shades of Greatness,” 34 works by artists asked to use the leagues as inspiration, on Friday. It will host a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that evening with special guest William “Youngblood” McCrary, who played with the Kansas City Monarchs and was a teammate of Jackie Robinson, the player who broke the color barrier. There will be music by Michael Eubanks and “baseball inspired refreshments,” the museum press release said. The exhibition is on loan from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
At Laman, 2801 Orange St., is “Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of Negro Baseball Leagues,” also from the Missouri museum. It features photographs telling the story of African-American baseball from the 19th century to 1947. The show runs through Aug. 24.