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Ali Center Announces Black History Month Programming: “Mr. Temple & The Tigerbelles” and “Long Time Coming” Film Screenings

Tigerbelles to include Four Olympic Medalists, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Journalist, David Maraniss, and Film Producers Tom Neff and Shelley Hay

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (January 18, 2019) — The Muhammad Ali Center is proud to announce its Black History Month programming:  a screening,reception, and panel discussion of “Mr.Temple & The Tigerbelles” on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 5:15 p.m. and a screening of “Long Time Coming” on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Center’s auditorium. 

Mr. Temple & The Tigerbelles:: February 9 at 5:15 p.m.
Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles, directed by Tom Neff and co-produced by Shelley Hay, is a 40-minute documentary about the legendary track and field coach Ed Temple from Tennessee State University (TSU) and the famed “Tigerbelles”: an incredible group of 40 African American female athletes who broke the color barrier of the Olympics during the Jim Crow era, snagging 23 medals, 16 of them Gold. Not only did these women all graduate from college, many went on to receive Masters and Doctorate degrees.

In attendance will be four Olympic medalists from the 1950s-1960s, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, daughter of legendary Coach Temple, and filmmakers Tom Neff and Shelley Hay. This film and program offers the perfect crossroads to also honor Muhammad Ali’s athletic accomplishments, when at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome Italy—as 18-year old Cassius Clay from Louisville,Kentucky—he won a Gold Medal in boxing for his country in the light-heavyweight category. Muhammad Ali’s participation in several Olympics since then are legendary, particularly at the 1996 Summer Games in Rome where Ali carried the torch and lit the Olympic cauldron.

The Muhammad Ali Center is partnering with Tennessee State University and Tennessee State Hall of Fame to secure the loan of around 14 items relating to Coach Temple and the Tigerbelles. These items will only be on display prior to the showing of the film for individuals who purchase tickets.

This event is sponsored by HJI Supply Chain Solutions.

Tickets are $15 and includes refreshments, film screening, and program. Doors open at 5:15 p.m. Film starts at 6:00 p.m. Purchase tickets online today at

In attendance and participating in the panel discussion will be:

  • David Maraniss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has been affiliated with the Washington Post for more than 40 years. Author of eleven books,including Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World. Mr. Maraniss is also a distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University and a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He lives in Washington, D.C. and Madison, Wisconsin with his wife, Linda.
  • Edith McGuire Duvall, former Tigerbelle and Olympic Gold medalist winner, placing first in the 200 meter sprint at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. She is a graduate from TSU with a degree in elementary education.Ms. Duvall lives in Oakland, California. She has been inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, the Track and Field Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
  • Dr. Edwina Temple, a doctoral degree holder and daughter of Tigerbelles coach, Ed Temple. She received many academic achievements including her doctorate at TSU; she was also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Dr. Temple is currently the director of Clinical Operations at Health Trust Workforce Solutions.
  • Lucinda Williams Adams,former Tigerbelle and Olympic Gold medalist winner of the 4 by 100 relay at the 1960 Rome Olympics. Williams had a career in Education for 36 ½ years, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. She also became a part of the U.S.Olympic Education Program, speaking at schools and helping to implement Olympic-based curriculums.
  • Barbara Jones-Slater, Olympic Gold medalist of the 1952, 1955, and 1960 Olympics. At the 1952 Helsinki Olympics at 15 years old, she became the youngest female of any nation to win a gold medal in track and field. She graduated from TSU with a degree in Health and Physical Education and went on to achieve her Master’s Degree in Physical Education at Georgia State University. Through her foundation, “B.J. Show Your Greatness,” Ms. Jones-Slater is dedicated to the advancement of our youth and having the opportunity to showing her own greatness in the world. She currently lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she speaks to children and encourages them to dream big.
  • Chandra Cheeseborough-Guice, became a decorated Olympian at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, making history by becoming the first woman to win Gold Medals on two relay teams and won Silver in the 400- meter sprint. She currently serves as the Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field at TSU.
  • Tom Neff, Director and Co-Producer of Tigerbelles. Mr. Neff is the founder and former CEO of DOC:  The Documentary Channel. Neff’s films have won several national and international awards, including an Academy Award nomination and an Emmy win.  In 1983 he began Tennessee’s first feature film production company Polaris Productions, and wrote and directed the feature film Running Mates, distributed worldwide by New World Pictures.
  • Shelley Hay, Co-Producer of Tigerbelles. As an entrepreneur, organizer, researcher, archivist and social worker with a Masters in Arts and Teaching, Shelley Hay is using her unique background to produce documentary films. Shelley teamed with Tom Neff to Co-Produce the short documentary, Mr. Temple and the Tigerbelles,which aired on CBS Sports Network in February 2018 on Primetime.  In 2018, the film was screened at the Santa Monica Nuart Theatre, the HollyShort Film Festival in August, and was presented at the Nashville Public Library.  

Long Time Coming :: February 28 at 6:00 p.m.
For its second Black History Month event, the Ali Center will be screening a film called Long Time Coming. In 1955 when racial segregation defined the south, two groups of twelve-year old boys stepped onto a baseball field in an act of cultural defiance that would change the course of history. “Long Time Coming” was created to both honor the barrier-breakers and to stimulate honest and constructive conversation on race in America. The film highlights a moment in history where courage overcame destructive social norms to establish a better way, together.

This film screening is free but registration is required. RSVP online at