N.C. didn’t always welcome Bearden back

“In the Army, at Camp Davis [N. C.], we had this big separate place,” Bearden said of his hitch with the all-black 372nd Infantry Regiment. “The other cabins were painted white and written in pencil was ‘No Mexicans, No Negroes.’ Things like that can really wreck you.”

— From “America’s Greatest (Overlooked) Artist” (Newsday, Jan. 17, 1988) 


Because Bearden wouldn’t play ball, he couldn’t play ball

“[In the early 1930s] his pitching for the [semipro Boston Colored] Tigers caught the eyes of recruiters from the Philadelphia Athletics, and the owner offered him a position on the team… with one stipulation. He would have to pass for white. [Romare] Bearden proudly declined. Soon after he would leave Boston… and return to New York. He never played professional baseball again.”

— From “The Man Who Spurned a Baseball Career to Become a Renowned Artist”  by Jason Parham on slate.com

Coincidentally, Bearden and baseball have recently been at odds in his hometown, as Romare Bearden Park and a proposed minor-league stadium compete for the same piece of Charlotte real estate.