Keynote Speaker – William C. Rhoden
Mr. Rhoden has been a sportswriter for The New York Times since 1983, and has written the Sports of The Times column for more than two decades. Previously, he was an editor in the Sunday Week in Review Section where he joined the newspaper in 1981. Before joining The Times, he was an associate editor of Ebony magazine from 1974 to 1978, and later spent more than three years with The Baltimore Sun as a columnist and jazz critic.
Mr. Rhoden's work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors and is distinguished by the breadth and scope of the subject matter and by the manner in which he manages to synthesize contemporary issues and sports into compelling commentary. He frequently lectures on issues related to sports and society as well as ethics in journalism. His column has been cited in several books on the subjects of sports and society.
Rhoden has done a considerable number of projects outside of The New York Times, and was the writer on the documentary "Journey of the African-American Athlete" that won a Peabody Award for Broadcasting. He was a consultant and guest on ESPN's Sports Century Series, which also won a Peabody, and has been a staple on the award-winning show, Sports Reporters, for over 14 years.
As a jazz enthusiast, Rhoden served as Road Manager for the international tour of the Billy Harper Quartet, with stops in Poland, Romania, London, France, Turkey, Portugal and Spain. He has traveled on assignment to Australia, Greece, Japan, and Korea, and driven across Cuba from Havana to Santiago de Cuba and cross-country in his Volkswagen beetle.
Rhoden attended Morgan State University of Baltimore where he was a three-year starter on the football team. He frequently contributed to the school newspaper where he nurtured his love for journalism. After graduating from Morgan, he served as Assistant Sports Information Director.
Mr. Rhoden is the author of "Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete," a political and cultural analysis of African-American athletes, and "Third and a Mile: The History of the Black Quarterback." He is currently working on his third book.
Mr. Rhoden lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.