The Game Before the Money Oral History Foundation is dedicated to preserving the life and career stories of former college and pro football players. The golden era of HBCU football, from the 1950s – the mid-1970s is vastly undocumented. Because of this, The Game Before the Money launched a project entitled, Their Game, Their Times: An Oral History of the Golden Era of HBCU Football. Interviews have already been conducted with several former HBCU stars, including Hall of Famers Charlie Joiner, Art Shell and Elvin Bethea. A website dedicated specifically to this project,, will be launched soon. You can already join our brand new HBCU Football History Facebook Group here!

Why is the project, Their Game, Their Times, important?

Many Hall of Fame football players played college football at HBCUs. Those players include Walter Payton, Deacon Jones, and Jerry Rice, some of the most enduring names in pro football. Although the history of major NCAA football programs and the careers of their star players are well documented, the same is not true for HBCU programs.

Where can I find Their Game, Their Times?

A series of podcast episodes are currently in development and will be released through The Game Before the Money Podcast. These episodes will include a generous amount of interview material with HBCU legends. Additionally, articles will be written and posted on If funding permits, a documentary or book may be produced.

Can I donate to Their Game, Their Times?

Yes! The Game Before the Money Oral History Foundation is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. You can make a donation here. This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of Humanities Texas or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

I played or coached HBCU football at some point during the 1940s-1970s and would like to be interviewed for this project. How do I contact you?

Please send an email to MichaelJacksonTX (at) and a member of our team will reply! Thank you!