O.J. Simpson, Ex-Colored Man

By Brandon R. Byrd, Guest Contributor What would it mean to live beyond the color line? To live unencumbered by race; by blackness? Black novelists have tackled these questions time and time again. Passing. Colorism. Tragic mulattoes. These are common tropes in black literature since the nineteenth-century. The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man epitomizes this…

“The Fifth Quarter”: A Review of O.J. Made in America, Part Five

As part of ESPN’s 30 for 30, O.J.: Made in America examines O.J. Simpson’s movement through the American cultural, political, and social landscape of the past five decades. The five-segment documentary explores the significance of race, gender, celebrity, and violence in Simpson’s football career and later criminal trial. The Sport in American History blog will be reviewing all…

Review of The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Hawkins, Billy; Cooper, Joseph; Carter-Francique, Akilah; Cavil, J. Kenyatta (eds.) The Athletic Experience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Past, Present, and Persistence. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Pp. 270. Index, About the Editors, About the Contributors. $75 hardcover, $64.49 e-book. Reviewed by Kristy L. McCray It is only appropriate to begin this post…

Ebony Jr.! and the Black Child’s Literary Sporting Imagination

By Samantha White “In Washington D.C., Chicago, Detroit, and several other cities former Black hockey players have started youth hockey clinics and teams for youngsters who want to play. If you check around there may be someone with a team right in your area.” –Ebony Jr.!, March 1982 The intersection of sport history and sport…

Getting Owens Critical: Review of Race (2016)

By Betsy Schlabach In my “Race, Sexuality, and United States Sports History” course my students are required to analyze a sports’ history film. Numerous papers arrive on Jackie Robinson, the Miracle on Ice, All American Girls Professional Baseball League, Michigan’s Fab Five, the Black Sox Scandal, or Notre Dame Football. While drafting these papers, I…

The Man in the Mirror: Black Culture, White Privilege, and Supermen in the Age of Cam Newton

By Kate Aguilar This is one of two new posts today exploring race in the NFL. This article explores race, culture, and Blackness, looking at narratives surrounding Cam Newton. Andrew McGregor’s piece looks at Whiteness, considering Peyton Manning as a Great White Hopes. Read in tandem, we hope they offer context that helps frame the narratives surrounding…

Review of Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics

Thomas, Damion L. Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012. 232 pp. $60.00 cloth. Reviewed by Andrew D. Linden In Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics, Damion L. Thomas analyzes the US government’s use of African American athletes as tools in the ideological battle between American…