Reclaiming 42 by David NazeReclaiming 42 centers on one of America's most respected cultural icons, Jackie Robinson, and the forgotten aspects of his cultural legacy. Since his retirement in 1956, and more strongly in the last twenty years, America has primarily remembered Robinson's legacy in an oversimplified way, as the pioneering first black baseball player to integrate the Major Leagues. The mainstream commemorative discourse regarding Robinson's career has been created and directed largely by Major League Baseball (MLB), which sanitized and oversimplified his legacy into narratives of racial reconciliation that celebrate his integrity, character, and courage while excluding other aspects of his life, such as his controversial political activity, his public clashes with other prominent members of the black community, and his criticism of MLB. MLB's commemoration of Robinson reflects a professional sport that is inclusive, racially and culturally tolerant, and largely postracial. Yet Robinson's identity--and therefore his memory--has been relegated to the boundaries of a baseball diamond and to the context of a sport, and it is within this oversimplified legacy that history has failed him. The dominant version of Robinson's legacy ignores his political voice during and after his baseball career and pays little attention to the repercussions that his integration had on many factions within the black community. Reclaiming 42 illuminates how public memory of Robinson has undergone changes over the last sixty-plus years and moves his story beyond Robinson the baseball player, opening a new, broader interpretation of an otherwise seemingly convenient narrative to show how Robinson's legacy ultimately should both challenge and inspire public memory.
Call Number: GV 865 .R6 N39 2019 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2019-06-01
Jackie Robinson by J. Christopher Schutz; John David Smith (Contribution by)Jackie Robinson's story is not only a compelling drama of heroism, but also as a template of the African American freedom struggle. A towering athletic talent, Robinson's greater impact was on preparing the way for the civil rights reform wave following WWII. But Robinson's story has always been far more complex than the public perception has allowed. Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey famously told the young Robinson that he was "looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back." J. Christopher Schutz reveals the real Robinson, as a more defiant, combative spirit than simply the "turn the other cheek" compliant "credit to his race." The triumph of Robinson's inclusion in the white Major Leagues (which presaged blacks' later inclusion in the broader society) also included the slow demise of black-owned commercial enterprise in the Negro Leagues (which likewise presaged the unrecoverable loss of other important black institutions after civil rights gains). Examining this key figure at the crossroads of baseball and civil rights histories, Schutz provides a cohesive exploration of the man and the times that made him great.
Call Number: GV 865 .R6 S355 2016 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-05-12
The World's Fastest Man by Michael KranishIn the tradition of The Boys in the Boat and Seabiscuit, a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking but forgotten figure--the remarkable Major Taylor, the black man who broke racial barriers by becoming the world's fastest and most famous bicyclist at the height of the Jim Crow era. In the 1890s, the nation's promise of equality had failed spectacularly. While slavery had ended with the Civil War, the Jim Crow laws still separated blacks from whites, and the excesses of the Gilded Age created an elite upper class. Amidst this world arrived Major Taylor, a young black man who wanted to compete in the nation's most popular and mostly white man's sport, cycling. Birdie Munger, a white cyclist who once was the world's fastest man, declared that he could help turn the young black athlete into a champion. Twelve years before boxer Jack Johnson and fifty years before baseball player Jackie Robinson, Taylor faced racism at nearly every turn--especially by whites who feared he would disprove their stereotypes of blacks. In The World's Fastest Man, years in the writing, investigative journalist Michael Kranish reveals new information about Major Taylor based on a rare interview with his daughter and other never-before-uncovered details from Taylor's life. Kranish shows how Taylor indeed became a world champion, traveled the world, was the toast of Paris, and was one of the most chronicled black men of his day. From a moment in time just before the arrival of the automobile when bicycles were king, the populace was booming with immigrants, and enormous societal changes were about to take place, The World's Fastest Man shines a light on a dramatic moment in American history--the gateway to the twentieth century.
Call Number: GV 1051 .T3 K73 2019 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2019-05-07
Singles and Smiles by Gaylon H. WhiteThis book brings to light the story of a Negro League and Pacific Coast League star, his struggles to make it in the majors, and his crucial role in integrating baseball's premier minor league. Artie Wilson once was the best shortstop in baseball. In 1948 Artie led all of baseball with a .402 batting average for the Birmingham Black Barons, the last hitter in the top level of pro ball to hit .400. But during much of his career, Organized Baseball passed Artie by because he was black. In Singles and Smiles: How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball's Color Barrier, Gaylon H. White provides a fascinating account of Wilson's life and career. An All-Star in the Negro Leagues, in 1949 Artie became only the second black player in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the first to play for the Oakland Oaks. Wilson soon became one of the league's most popular players with white and black fans alike through his consistent play and optimistic, upbeat attitude. In 1951 Artie finally got a chance to play in the majors with the New York Giants, but after batting a mere twenty-four times he urged Giants manager Leo Durocher to send him back to the minors and bring up a former Black Barons teammate to take his place--Willie Mays. While Jackie Robinson deserves all the credit he has received for breaking baseball's color barrier at the major-league level, this book pays tribute to those such as Artie Wilson who changed the game in the minors--pioneers in their own right. Featuring in-depth interviews with Artie alongside interviews with almost thirty of Artie's teammates and opponents--including Willie Mays and Carl Erskine--Singles and Smiles imparts a treasure trove of stories that will entertain and inspire baseball fans of all generations.
Call Number: GV 865 .W46 A3 2018 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2018-03-20
Lost Champions by Gretchen AtwoodThe story of the integration of professional football--the year before Jackie Robinson did the same for baseball--has been overlooked for too long. Many know the story of Jackie Robinson integrating major league baseball in 1947. But few know that the NFL integrated a year earlier, when Kenny Washington stepped on the field for the Los Angeles Rams. He wasn't the only one. Four men broke pro football's color line in 1946, Kenny Washington and Woody Strode with the Los Angeles Rams and Bill Willis and Marion Motley with the Cleveland Browns. Lost Champions traces this history from the early 1930s--when NFL owners first instituted a ban on black players--through pro football's re-integration, to the 1950 NFL Championship Game, which pitted the Rams and Browns against each other in a showdown of the most prolific and advanced offenses pro football had ever seen. But the battle wasn't just waged on the gridiron.Lost Champions shows how efforts to integrate sports sits within the often-ignored history of the civil rights movement in the 1940s. The four players faced animosity and death threats for their role in integration while they and all black Americans were threatened in 1946 by a spike in lynchings, threat of legal expulsion from their own homes, and segregation all the way down to the simple act of going to an amusement park for a bit of relaxation. Finally,Lost Champions explains why these men and their stories have for so long languished in the shadow of Jackie Robinson, and why they too deserve widespread acclaim for integrating what is arguably the most popular sport in America.
Call Number: GV 954 .A78 2016 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Sport and the Color Line by Patrick B. Miller (Editor); David K. Wiggins (Editor)The year 2003 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois' "Souls of Black Folk," in which he declared that "the color line" would be the problem of the twentieth century. Half a century later, Jackie Robinson would display his remarkable athletic skills in "baseball's great experiment." Now, "Sport and the Color Line" takes a look at the last century through the lens of sports and race, drawing together articles by many of the leading figures in Sport Studies to address the African American experience and the history of race relations. The history of African Americans in sport is not simple, and it certainly did not begin in 1947 when Jackie Robinson first donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. The essays presented here examine the complexity of black American sports culture, from the organization of semi-pro baseball and athletic programs at historically black colleges and universities, to the careers of individual stars such as Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, to the challenges faced by black women in sports. What are today's black athletes doing in the aftermath of desegregation, or with the legacy of Muhammad Ali's political stance? The essays gathered here engage such issues, as well as the paradoxes of corporate sport and the persistence of scientific racism in the athletic realm.
Call Number: GV 706.32 .S73 2004 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2003-11-24
Revolt of the Black Athlete by Harry EdwardsThe Revolt of the Black Athlete hit sport and society like an Ali combination. This Fiftieth Anniversary edition of Harry Edwards's classic of activist scholarship arrives even as a new generation engages with the issues he explored. Edwards's new introduction and afterword revisit the revolts by athletes like Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos. At the same time, he engages with the struggles of a present still rife with racism, double-standards, and economic injustice. Again relating the rebellion of black athletes to a larger spirit of revolt among black citizens, Edwards moves his story forward to our era of protests, boycotts, and the dramatic politicization of athletes by Black Lives Matter. Incisive yet ultimately hopeful, The Revolt of the Black Athlete is the still-essential study of the conflicts at the interface of sport, race, and society.
Call Number: GV 583 .E36 2018 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
More Than a Game by David K. WigginsMore than a Game discusses how African American men and women sought to participate in sport and what that participation meant to them, the African American community, and the United States more generally. Recognizing the complicated history of race in America and how sport can both divide and bring people together, the book chronicles the ways in which African Americans overcame racial discrimination to achieve success in an institution often described as America's only true meritocracy. African Americans have often glorified sport, viewing it as one of the few ways they can achieve a better life. In reality, while some African Americans found fame and fortune in sport, most struggled just to participate - let alone succeed at the highest levels of sport. Thus, the book has two basic themes. It discusses the varied experiences of African Americans in sport and how their participation has both reflected and changed views of race.
Call Number: GV 583 .W5455 2018 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2018-10-01
We Will Win the Day by Louis MooreThis exceedingly timely book looks at the history of black activist athletes and the important role of the black community in making sure fair play existed, not only in sports, but across U.S. society. Most books that focus on ties between sports, black athletes, and the Civil Rights Movement focus on specific issues or people. They discuss, for example, how baseball was integrated or tell the stories of individuals like Jackie Robinson or Muhammad Ali. This book approaches the topic differently. By examining the connection between sports, black athletes and the Civil Rights Movement overall, it puts the athletes and their stories into the proper context. Rather than romanticizing the stories and the men and women who lived them, it uses the roles these individuals played--or chose not to play--to illuminate the complexities and nuances in the relationship between black athletes and the fight for racial equality. Arranged thematically, the book starts with Jackie Robinson's entry into baseball when he signed with the Dodgers in 1945 and ends with the revolt of black athletes in the late 1960s, symbolized by Tommie Smith and John Carlos famously raising their clenched fists during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics. Accounts from the black press and the athletes themselves help illustrate the role black athletes played in the Civil Rights Movement. At the same time, the book also examines how the black public viewed sports and the contributions of black athletes during these tumultuous decades, showing how the black communities' belief in merit and democracy--combined with black athletic success--influenced the push for civil rights. * Offers the first significant synthesis covering the black athlete and the Civil Rights Movement * Provides a history of activist African American athletes, examining the central role the black athlete and sports played in shaping America's democracy from 1945 through the late 1960s * Discusses the role the black press and the black community played in integrating sports * Links stars like Jackie Robinson and Althea Gibson to athletes who are largely forgotten, like boxer Joe Dorsey who fought Louisiana's ban on integrated sports, and Maggie Hathaway who paved the way for integrated golf in Los Angeles
Call Number: GV 706.32 .M66 2017 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2017-09-21
A Spectacular Leap by Jennifer H. LansburyWhen high jumper Alice Coachman won the high jump title at the 1941 national championships with "a spectacular leap," African American women had been participating in competitive sport for close to twenty-five years. Yet it would be another twenty years before they would experience something akin to the national fame and recognition that African American men had known since the 1930s, the days of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens. From the 1920s, when black women athletes were confined to competing within the black community, through the heady days of the late twentieth century when they ruled the world of women's track and field, African American women found sport opened the door to a better life. However, they also discovered that success meant challenging perceptions that many Americans--both black and white--held of them. Through the stories of six athletes--Coachman, Ora Washington, Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudloph, Wyomia Tyus, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee--Jennifer H. Lansbury deftly follows the emergence of black women athletes from the African American community; their confrontations with contemporary attitudes of race, class, and gender; and their encounters with the civil rights movement. Uncovering the various strategies the athletes use to beat back stereotypes, Lansbury explores the fullness of African American women's relationship with sport in the twentieth century.
Call Number: GV 697 .A1 L274 2014 - Belleville General Book Collection