Early Afro-Brazilian Soccer Stars and the Myth of Racial Democracy  

by Zachary R. Bigalke The ideology of racial democracy cast a long shadow over twentieth-century race relations in Brazil. First popularized by influential Brazilian scholar Gilberto Freyre, this theory presumed a level racial playing field that was paradoxically dependent on the whitening of the populace. Rather than helping to drive the country toward a multiracial…

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…

Life after Death in Louisville

This post is the fifth post in our Life and Legacy of Muhammad Ali Series guest edited by Andrew R.M. Smith. Muhammad Ali was a complex figure and he had a large influence beyond the United States. The goal of these posts is to explore various aspects of Ali’s life and reflect on his legacies, offering insight into understudied themes…

“Sport’s Answer to the Three-Ring Circus”: Indoor Track and American Identity in the 1950s

By Cat Ariail “Indoor track, sport’s answer to the three-ring circus, springs full-grown from the winter much as Athena sprang fully-armed from the head of Zeus,” asserted Sports Illustrated’s Tex Maule in 1958.[1] In a subsequent article, Maule suggested the sport “takes on a carnival air when the lineal descendants of the fleet cave man…

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…