Cover image for Sport and the color line : black athletes and race relations in twentieth-century America
Sport and the color line : black athletes and race relations in twentieth-century America
Miller, Patrick B.
Publication Information:
New York ; London : Routledge, [2004]

Physical Description:
xii, 382 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV706.32 .S66 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The year 2003 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois' "Souls of Black Folk," in which he declared that "the color line" would be the problem of the twentieth century. Half a century later, Jackie Robinson would display his remarkable athletic skills in "baseball's great experiment." Now, "Sport and the Color Line" takes a look at the last century through the lens of sports and race, drawing together articles by many of the leading figures in Sport Studies to address the African American experience and the history of race relations.
The history of African Americans in sport is not simple, and it certainly did not begin in 1947 when Jackie Robinson first donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. The essays presented here examine the complexity of black American sports culture, from the organization of semi-pro baseball and athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities, to the careers of individual stars such as Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, to the challenges faced by black women in sports. What are today's black athletes doing in the aftermath of desegregation, or with the legacy of Muhammad Ali's political stance? The essays gathered here engage such issues, as well as the paradoxes of corporate sport and the persistence of scientific racism in the athletic realm.

Author Notes

Patrick B. Miller is Professor of History at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. David K. Wiggins is Professor of Sport History at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Table of Contents

I Sport and Community in the Era of Jim Crow
1 Sport and Black Pittsburgh, 1900-1930, Rob Ruck
2 Black Entrepreneurship in the National Pastime: The Rise of Semiprofessional Baseball in Black Chicago, 1890-1915Michael Lomax
3 Year of the Comet: Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries, July 4, 1910Randy Roberts
4 "A General Understanding": Organized Baseball and Black Professional Baseball, 1900-1930Neil Lanctot
5 "We Were Ladies, We Just Played Basketball Like Boys": African American Womanhood and Competitive Basketball at Bennett College, 1928-42Rita Liberti
6 A Special Type of Discipline: Manhood and Community in African American Institutions, 1923-57Pamela Grundy
II The Ordeal of Desegregation
7 Joe Louis: American Folk HeroWilliam H. Wiggins
8 "End Jim Crow in Sports": The Leonard Bates Controversy and Protest at New York University, 1940-1941Donald Spivey
9 Jackie Robinson: "A Lone Negro" in Major League BaseballJules Tygiel
10 More Than a Game: The Political Meaning of High School Basketball in IndianapolisRichard B. Pierce
11 "Cinderellas" of Sport: Black Women in Track and FieldSusan Cahn
12 Jim Crow in the Gymnasium: The Integration of College Basketball in the American SouthCharles H. Martin
13 Civil Rights on the Gridiron: The Kennedy Administration and the Desegregation of the Washington RedskinsThomas G. Smith
III Images of the Black Athlete and the Racial Politics of Sport
14 Edwin Bancroft Henderson, African American Athletes, and the Writing of Sport HistoryDavid K. Wiggin
15 The Greatest: Muhammad Ali's Confounding CharacterDavid W. Zang
16 The Sports SpectacleMichael Jordan and Nike: The Paradoxes of Corporate Sport and Douglas Kellner
17 The Anatomy of Scientific Racism: Racialist Responses to Black Athletic AchievementPatrick B. Miller
18 Crisis of Black Athletes at the Outset of the 21st CenturyHarry Edwards
Further Reading