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…

Review of Redskins: Insult and Brand

C. Richard King, Redskins: Insult and Brand. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016. Pp. 256. 12 Illustrations, notes and index. $24.95 Hardcover. By Andrew McGregor In October 2014 I had lunch with Billy Mills. Though we keep in touch, I hadn’t seen him since 2011. He was on campus giving a talk — one similar to the…

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…

Baseball’s Black Problem

Whenever Chris Rock speaks, I listen [and then I usually laugh]. Rock is a comedic genius or the one comic who possesses the outstanding ability at least to disturb my good manners time and time again with belly-aching guffaws. He has thrived in his role as my generation’s most successful black humorist, plying his craft…

What (else) might it mean to be a “Real Sooner”?

Recently a video of an overtly racist chant sung by young, white fraternity men at the University of Oklahoma (OU) went “viral.” If you’re like me, you could not avoid seeing, hearing, or reading about this chant, which used violent language to brag about the fraternity’s racial exclusivity. The fraternity in question, SAE, is the only…

Swimming as a Sporting Racial Project

One of the aspects that I love most about teaching at a university is the opportunity to engage with young people, to introduce new ideas and encourage them to (re)think their positions as they develop their own ways of understanding their world. But, approaching teaching in this way can make me feel like a dentist…