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…

Sparring with Cinematic “Truth”: Race, Boxing, and Place in the Movie Creed (2015)

By Kate Aguilar In the 2014 documentary Champs, director Bert Marcus interviews boxing legends Evander Holyfield, Bernard Hopkins, and Mike Tyson, providing an intimate look at how race, class, gender, and place converge in the making of a boxing superstar.  The film begins with a voiceover from Philadelphia native Bernard Hopkins’ trainer, Naazim Richardson.  Hopkins successfully…

Review of Leveling the Playing Field

Marc, David.  Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8.  Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2015. 344 pages, 25 illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. Cloth $39.95.  Reviewed by Matt Follett Leveling the Playing Field: The Story of the Syracuse 8 tells the story of how African American football players at Syracuse University protested discrimination in the…