Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations

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David C. Ogden, Joel Nathan Rosen
Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2008 - Social Science - 140 pages
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With contributions by Prosper Godonoo, Urla Hill, C. Richard King, David J. Leonard, Jack Lule, Murry Nelson, David C. Ogden, Robert W. Reising, and Joel Nathan Rosen

Reconstructing Fame: Sport, Race, and Evolving Reputations includes essays on Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Curt Flood, Paul Robeson, Jim Thorpe, Bill Russell, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos. The essayists in this volume write about twentieth-century athletes whose careers were affected by racism and whose post-career reputations have improved as society's understanding of race changed. Contributors attempt to clarify the stories of these sports stars and their places as twentieth-century icons by analyzing the various myths that surround them.

When media, fans, sports leagues, and the athletes themselves commemorate sports legends, shifts in popular perceptions often serve to obscure an athlete's role in history. Such revisions can lack coherence and trivialize the efforts of some legendary competitors and those associated with them. Adding racial tensions to this process further complicates the task of preserving the valuable achievements of key players.

 

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Contents

Examining Reputations within a Cultural Context
xv
THE ARCHETYPES
1
The Trivialization of the Jackie Robinson Legacy
3
From Ignominy to Icon
16
THE CHERISHED DEAD
29
DEATH IS A SLAVES FREEDOM His Fight against Baseball History and White Supremacy
31
Honor and the Politics of Dignity
48
The Reconstruction of Jim Thorpe
67
THE LIVING MODELS
85
From Revulsion to Resurrection
87
Revisiting Those Fists Some Forty Years Hence
102
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About the author (2008)

David C. Ogden is associate professor of communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has published in numerous journals.

Joel Nathan Rosen is assistant professor of sociology at Moravian College and the author of The Erosion of the American Sporting Ethos: Shifting Attitudes toward Competition.

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