Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy

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C. Richard King, Charles Fruehling Springwood
U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 2001 - Social Science - 356 pages
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A growing controversy in recent years has arisen around the use and abuse of Native American team mascots. The Cleveland Indians, Atlanta Braves, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Florida State Seminoles, and so forth?these are just a few of the images and names popularly associated with Native Americans that are still used as mascots by professional sports teams, dozens of universities, and countless high schools. This practice, a troubling legacy of Native?Euro-American relations in the United States, has sparked heated debates and intense protests that continue to escalate.°Team Spirits is the first comprehensive look at the Native American mascots controversy. In this work activists and academics explore the origins of Native American mascots, the messages they convey, and the reasons for their persistence into the twenty-first century. The essays examine hotly contested uses of mascots, including the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians, and the University of Illinois's Chief Illiniwek, as well as equally problematic but more complicated examples such as the Florida State Seminoles and the multitude of Native mascots at Marquette University. Also showcased are examples of successful opposition, including an end to Native American mascots at Springfield College and in Los Angeles public schools.
 

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Contents

Chief Bill Orange and the Saltine Warrior A Cultural History of Indian Symbols and Imagery at Syracuse University
25
Becoming the Indians Fashioning Arkansas State Universitys Indians
46
Wennebojo Meets the Mascot A Tricksters View of the Central Michigan University MascotLogo
64
Sockalexis and the Making of the Myth at the Core of Clevelands Indian Image
82
WHITENESS
107
The Fighting Braves of Michigamua Adopting the Visage of American Indian Warriors in the Halls of Academia
109
The Best Offense Dissociation Desire and the Defense of the Florida State University Seminoles
129
At Home in Illinois Presence of Chief Illiniwek Absence of Native Americans
157
Escaping the Tyranny of the Majority A Case Study of Mascot Change
221
INTERVENTIONS
239
In Whose Honor? Mascots and the Media
241
Educators and Mascots Challenging Contradictions
257
Uneasy Indians Creating and Contesting Native American Mascots at Marquette University
281
Playing Indian and Fighting for Mascots Reading the Complications of Native American and EuroAmerican Alliances
304
Closing Arguments Opening Dialogues
328
Contributors
337

ACTIVISM
187
Fighting NameCalling Challenging Redskins in Court
189
Last of the Mohicans Braves and Warriors The End of American Indian Mascots in Los Angeles Public Schools
208

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About the author (2001)

C. Richard King is an assistant professor of anthropology at Drake University, and Charles Fruehling Springwood is an assistant professor of anthropology at Illinois Wesleyan University. King and Springwood are coauthors of Beyond the Cheers: Race As Spectacle in College Sport.

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