African-American athletes have experienced a tumultuous relationship with mainstream white America. Glory Bound brings together 11 essays that explore this complex topic by sports studies scholar David K. Wiggins. In his writings, Wiggins recounts the struggle of black athletes to climb their own racial mountain - their struggle to fully participate in sport while maintaining their own cultural identity and pride.
When high jumper Alice Coachman won the high jump title at the 1941 national championships with "a spectacular leap," African American women had been participating in competitive sport for close to twenty-five years. Yet it would be another twenty years before they would experience something akin to the national fame and recognition that African American men had known since the 1930s, the days of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. From the 1920s, when black women athletes were confined to competing within the black community, through the heady days of the late twentieth century when they ruled the world of women's track and field, African American women found sport opened the door to a better life. However, they also discovered that success meant challenging perceptions that many Americans--both black and white--held of them. Through the stories of six athletes--Coachman, Ora Washington, Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudloph, Wyomia Tyus, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee--Jennifer H. Lansbury deftly follows the emergence of black women athletes from the African American community; their confrontations with contemporary attitudes of race, class, and gender; and their encounters with the civil rights movement. Uncovering the various strategies the athletes use to beat back stereotypes, Lansbury explores the fullness of African American women's relationship with sport in the twentieth century.
With essays by Ron Briley, Michael Ezra, Sarah K. Fields, Billy Hawkins, Jorge Iber, Kurt Kemper, Michael E. Lomax, Samuel O. Regalado, Richard Santillan, and Maureen Smith This anthology explores the intersection of race, ethnicity, and sports and analyzes the forces that shaped the African American and Latino sports experience in post-World War II America. Contributors reveal that sports often reinforced dominant ideas about race and racial supremacy but that at other times sports became a platform for addressing racial and social injustices. The African American sports experience represented the continuation of the ideas of Black Nationalism--racial solidarity, black empowerment, and a determination to fight against white racism. Three of the essayists discuss the protest at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. In football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and track and field, African American athletes moved toward a position of group strength, establishing their own values and simultaneously rejecting the cultural norms of whites. Among Latinos, athletic achievement inspired community celebrations and became a way to express pride in ethnic and religious heritages as well as a diversion from the work week. Sports was a means by which leadership and survival tactics were developed and used in the political arena and in the fight for justice.Michael E. Lomax is associate professor of health and sport studies at the University of Iowa and the author of Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1860-1901: Operating by Any Means Necessary.Kenneth L. Shropshire is David W. Hauck Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the school's Sports Business initiative.
Professional sports in America offer numerous examples of equal opportunity and broken down racial barriers. These developments call for pride and celebration. Yet skin color continues to have an influence in how Americans experience sport. From Al Campanis' statement about the under-representation of blacks in baseball front offices to the almost exclusively white ownership of professional teams, one sees that sports, though admirably more equitable than other societal institutions, are hardly a colorblind American pursuit. Choosing the racially charged sport of boxing for investigation, the author has compiled dozens of statistics measuring whether or not America's racial majority still yearns for a white champion--a Great White Hope. Drawing upon data from The Ring Magazine and its annual record books, this study endeavors to bolster or refute the popular perception in boxing circles that white fighters of lesser ability are helped along to their sports elite level, as a result of being promotional gold in the eyes of the public.
"Active Bodies" examines the ideas, programs, and experiences of white and black female physical educators from the introduction of mandatory gym class through the recent revolution in women's sports. Amidst sweeping changes in science, feminism, and attitudes about gender, race, and sexuality, women teachers debated how to achieve equality for their female students and themselves.
The sixteen original essays in this collection cover influential and famous rivalries from a variety of sports, including track and field, golf, boxing, basketball, tennis, ice skating, baseball, football, soccer, and more. The essays are diverse, but together they illustrate what is common to any rivalry: equally matched opponents that often have decidedly different backgrounds, styles, and personalities. These differences may center on race and culture, political and societal ideologies, personality, geography, or religion—a mix intensified by fans and the media. From highly publicized and emotionally charged individual competitions to bitterly fought team contests, Rivals illuminates what one-of-a-kind opponents and the passion they inspire tell us about ourselves and our society.
The original essays in this comprehensive collection examine the lives and sports of famous and not-so-famous African American male and female athletes from the nineteenth century to today. Here are twenty insightful biographies that furnish perspectives on the changing status of these athletes and how these changes mirrored the transformation of sports, American society, and civil rights legislation. Some of the athletes discussed include Marshall Taylor (bicycling), William Henry Lewis (football), Jack Johnson, Satchel Paige, Jesse Owens, Joe Lewis, Alice Coachman (track and field), Althea Gibson (tennis), Wilma Rudolph, Bill Russell, Jim Brown, Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Venus and Serena Williams.
Overview: This collection of primary sources charts the significant, intertwining histories of African Americans and sport. Featuring introductions and head notes by David K. Wiggins and Patrick B. Miller that place each selection in context, The Unlevel Playing Field contains more than one hundred documents on both pioneering and modern-day athletes.