During his lifetime, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick was a famous musician and a well-known band director. He played for bands all over the world and won several awards for his musical accomplishments. Although he is no longer with us, his name will be remembered forever. Here is an article on his life and career.
Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick Award presented by Dr Pepper
During his high school career, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick was named an All-American and led the Myers Park High School Mustangs to an undefeated season. He earned 19 touchdowns and was named MVP. He was also named the best football player in Charlotte.
Despite being a great athlete, Kirkpatrick faced racism in both the community and on the field. He was passed over for a spot on the Carolina all-star team and was excluded from the Shrine Bowl. A civil rights lawsuit followed. The lawsuit was successful and the game was finally desegregated in 1966.
A new scholarship is now available in honor of the former athlete. The Charlotte Sports Foundation has created the Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick Award, which will be presented to the best public school football player in Mecklenburg County. The winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship and will be recognized at Duke’s Mayo Bowl.
The award is sponsored by Dr Pepper. It is given to a senior football player from a Charlotte-Mecklenburg high school. A panel of judges will evaluate the student’s athletic accomplishments as well as their impact on the community. The winner will be selected from a pool of nominees. The panel will include representatives from the Charlotte Sports Foundation, CMS and the Charlotte community.
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Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick’s career as a band director
During his time as a student at the aforementioned Second Ward High School, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick was one of the most notable players in the local football scene. He was an All-American and even led his team to an undefeated season. However, he did not get to take the field in the coveted Shrine Bowl due to his skin color. His only consolation was a position on the all-white Myers Park High School team. He had a better shot at making it on a team with a more diversified roster.
The other big news was that the city of Charlotte had done a decent job of honoring its civil rights era luminaries. While not as prestigious as the Academy of Country Music’s version, the city had plenty of awards and accolades to go around. It also had a museum to its name and a plethora of landmarks.
It’s no secret that the town was rich in musical talent, from the venerable Memphis Slim to the juggernauts of the day. Thankfully, for those of us who don’t know how to play golf, there are a number of places where we can eat, drink and be merry.
Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick’s death
During the civil rights era, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick was a target of racial hostility. He was a running back for an all-black team at Second Ward High School. He scored 19 touchdowns during his senior year. He was considered one of the best football players in Charlotte. His All-American honors came at a time when many institutions were beginning to acknowledge the social and racial impacts of the past.
In 1966, the Shrine Bowl was desegregated. That same year, the Charlotte Sports Foundation created the Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick Award to recognize the outstanding football player in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools. The award will be handed out at Duke’s Mayo Bowl in December.
The award includes a $10,000 scholarship. The winner of the contest will be chosen by a panel of representatives from the sports foundation. The winning high school will be honored with a bronze bust of Kirkpatrick. The award is designed to inspire CMS students.
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