Review of Before Jackie

Gems, Gerald R., ed. Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2017. Pp. 324. Notes and index. $35 paperback. Reviewed by Christopher R. Davis In popular memory, one of the most significant historical developments in the twentieth-century United States, the civil rights struggle, is often reduced to…

Review of Mavericks, Money, and Men

Ross, Charles K. Mavericks, Money, and Men: The AFL, Black Players, and the Evolution of Modern Football. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2016 Pp. 212. Notes, bibliography, and index. $84.50 clothback, $19.95 paperback, $19.95 e-book. By Andrew D. Linden At Super Bowl I, then known as the AFL-NFL World Championship Game, the Green Bay Packers easily…

Jesse Owens Ran the Wrong Race: Athletes, Activism, and the 1960s

By Louis Moore At this year’s ESPY Awards we witnessed a powerful force, famous black athletes coming together to attack police brutality and gun violence in America and to place themselves squarely in the growing social justice movement. These athletes, NBA stars Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James used the beginning of…

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…