The photograph above was taken at the Montréal Olympic Stadium, home of the 1976 Olympics. Outside the entrance to the stadium is the sculpture of Jackie Robinson and two young boys.
A dialogue with Bijan Bayne, writer, author, speaker, and sports historian.
For the love of sport … and travel
I first met Bijan Bayne on a media trip to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Québec City. We soon found that, despite our quite different backgrounds, we had much in common, especially conceptually.
As you will hear when you listen to this podcast, Bijan is a very knowledgeable and articulate person who also does not hesitate to broach subjects that some may find controversial. In our chat he makes a particular reference to human behaviour patterns that demonstrate fealty and loyalty, the “claiming of the local or the regional,” and he also suggests the significance of sport as a social identifier. He does not shy away from the issue of sports rivalry; and even ventures into the realm of sport as metaphor: war and peace, teammates and fans, speed and power. He explains why, in his view for example, American football demonstrates martial and warrior behaviour and rituals, whereas baseball is all about getting home safe … with a little help from your friends. Above all, he emphasizes the anthropological significance of the human form and the expression of excellence of the human body in the medium of sport. He also celebrates the grace and beauty of sport
Bijan is an award-winning Washington-based freelance writer, and author of Sky Kings: Black Pioneers of Professional Basketball, which was named to the Suggested Reading List of the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. The book is also cited in Booktalks Plus: Motivating Teens to Read, by Lucy Schall.
Bijan who also speaks Spanish, won the Robert Peterson Research Award for his presentation “The Struggle of the Latin American Ballplayer” in July 2002; a presentation that was given at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
In February 2008, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation for his sports research. His chapter on Black baseball in North Carolina appears in the book Baseball in the Carolinas (McFarland 2002).
In addition to appearing in the upcoming documentary on the historic International League Baltimore Orioles, The Forgotten Birds, Bijan has been interviewed on radio programs in Puerto Rico, Boston, Providence, Durham, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
A member of United States Basketball Writers Association, his essay on schoolyard basketball appears in the anthology Basketball in America (Haworth 2005). He has also been a writing instructor in afterschool programs and at adult education centers; as well as a public relations writer. He is currently at work researching a documentary film.
Each year since 1996, Bijan has guest lectured on the social significance of the life of Jackie Robinson at The George Washington University; and at classes, and events such as Charter Day 1996 and Unity Week in 1999. His travel articles have appeared in AAA Horizons, Family Digest, Atlanta Goodlife, Ohio magazine, Arrington’s Inn Traveler, and Hotel Executive; and his book reviews have been featured in Washington Post Book World, The Boston Herald, Wild River Review, and The Crisis.
He is a columnist for Sports Central, and has served as a consultant for film, television and corporate clients such as Aviva Kempner, Jennifer Lawson, and Jay Smith, Spike Lee, Nike, and CINE. He currently also writes for Pro Basketball News.
On June 10, 2006, Bijan was a panelist at the annual conference of Washington Independent Writers, on the topic of marketing as an independent writer. He is an Executive Board member, and Media Relations Director of the Association for Professional Basketball Research. He is a frequent arts and sports history contributor to The Bay State Banner and is a member of the Southern Documentary Fund. He is a co-creator of the website dedicated to the history of basketball in Washington, D.C. D.C. Basketball: Your Source for Washington D.C. Basketball Legends and serves as secretary of the organization D.C. Basketball.
And recently Bijan C. Bayne was named Sports Travel Correspondent for the Traveln On Radio Show, which is broadcast nationally via Clear Channel, TalkZone, and the Internet.
Bijan Baine can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.