African American Golfers During the Jim Crow Era

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - Social Science - 182 pages

Throughout the period of legally supported segregation in the United States, practices of racial discrimination, touching every sector of American life, prevented African Americans from participating formally in professional sports. Jim Crow policies remained in place in baseball, football, and basketball until a few years before the Supreme Court struck down the separate but equal doctrine in 1954. By the late 1950s, the African American presence was felt in major sports. But this was not the case in professional golf, which continued to maintain segregation policies perpetuating the stereotype that African Americans were suited only to caddie roles in support of white players. The Professional Golfers Association, unaffected by the 1954 Brown decision since it was a private organization, maintained a Caucasian only membership clause until 1961. All-white private clubs maintained racial exclusion until the PGA Championship Shoal Creek Country Club Affair in 1990.

Using black newspapers, archives, interviews with living professional golfers and other informants, and black club records, Dawkins and Kinloch reconstruct the world of segregated African American golf from the 1890s onward. In the process they show the pivotal role of Joe Louis, who claimed his hardest fight was the one against segregated golf. While others have documented the rise of an African American presence in other sports, no comparable efforts have traced their roles in golf. This is a pioneering work that will be a resource for other writers and researchers and all who are interested in Black life in American society and sports.

 

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Contents

Sports and Discrimination
3
THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLACK GOLF
11
From Caddie to Professional The Making of a Black Golf Pro
13
Golf and the Black Elite
21
The Organization of Black Golf The United Golfers Association
35
1oe Louis Black Golf Ambassador
65
THE NATURE OF BLACK GOLF
85
1im Crow Era Golfers in the Black Press
87
DESEGREGATION BATTLES
135
The Push to Desegregate Public Golf Courses
137
Barrier Breakers and White Resistance
153
CONCLUSIONS
161
Black Golf and White Racism
163
References
169
Index
179
Copyright

1im Crow Era Golfers Speak in Their Own Words
99

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About the author (2000)

MARVIN P. DAWKINS is Associate Professor of Sociology, Research Faculty in the Center for Research on Sport in Society and Director of the Caribbean, African and Afro-American Studies Program at the University of Miami./e Professor Dawkins has published extensively on aspects of Black life in books and articles.

GRAHAM C. KINLOCH has been engaged in teaching and carrying out research in the areas of sociological theory, race and minority relations, and comparative analysis for the past thirty-one years./e He has been at Florida State University since 1971 and has published a number of books and papers on these topics. Presently, he serves as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Social Sciences and as Professor of Sociology.

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