(Courtesy Photo)

Willie Thrower

After a successful career as a quarterback for New Kensington high school in Pennsylvania, Willie Thrower played for the Michigan State Spartans. In 1950, he became the first Black quarterback to play in the Big 10 Conference. He also helped the Spartans win the 1952 championship. Thrower went undrafted in 1953 and received a one-year contract to the Chicago Bears, making him the first Black Quarterback in the NFL. He was released at the end of the season.

(Courtesy Photo)

Fritz Pollard

Fritz Pollard is the first Black football player to compete for Brown University. From 1918-1920, he coached the Lincoln University football team. He then played for the NFL with the Akron Pros and won the APFA championship in 1920. In the NFL’s first season, he became the first All-Pro running back. That following year, Pollard became Akron’s co-head coach, making him the first Black head coach in the NFL.

(Courtesy photo)

Warren Moon

An alum of Hamilton high school and West LA College, Warren Moon was a starting quarterback for the Washington Huskies in the mid 1970’s. During his senior season, he aided the Huskies to a Pac-8 title and a Rose Bowl Game victory over the Michigan Wolverines. After hearing rumors that the NFL may not draft him, Moon signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. He won several awards, including CFL Most Outstanding Player. Moon then played for the Houston Oilers of the NFL in 1984. He had a 17-year career in the NFL, playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, and Kansas City Chiefs.

(AP Photo/David Tulis)

James “Shack” Harris

From 1965-1969, James “Shack” Harris was a signal caller for the Grambling State football team; he earned MVP honors in the 1967 Orange Blossom Classic. Harris was drafted by the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League. He signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 1972 and became starting quarterback two years later. With the Rams, Harris became the first Black quarterback to start and win a postseason game. He was traded to the San Diego Chargers and competed there until 1981.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Doug Williams

A three-time Southwestern Athletic Conference champion, Doug Williams was drafted to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1978. That following year, he played against the Chicago Bears that was led by Vince Evans. This marked the first NFL game where two Black quarterbacks were starters. He helped the Buccaneers to three playoff berths but sat out of the 1983 season because of a contract dispute with Tampa Bay. Three years later, Williams returned to the NFL with the then Washington Redskins. He earned the starting role in time for the 1988 playoffs and Williams battled to Super Bowl XXII. Washington defeated the Denver Broncos to win, making Williams the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl title.