The Strange Career of the Black Athlete: African Americans and Sports

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Praeger, Jan 1, 2006 - Social Science - 123 pages

Few realize that some sports were integrated, or even dominated by blacks, before becoming dominated by whites, for example, horse racing, golf, hockey, and tennis. This book provides a lens through which to view the historical context and specific circumstances of African Americans' presence in various sports. The author asks why sport has at times challenged the status quo with regard to race and civil rights, and at other times reinforced it. To that end, he analyzes various sports and asks why and when has each sport responded differently.

Wigginton asks how did blacks break the color barrier? Were they able to maintain representation in the particular sport? And did the entrance of blacks in these sports change the public's perception of the sport? The answers to these questions shed light on why America remains preoccupied with sports, race, and the seemingly integral relationship between the two.

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The strange career of the Black athlete: African Americans and sports

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To borrow from the title of Wigginton's (history, emeritus, Rhodes Coll., Memphis) book, the strange career of the black athlete is no stranger than the African American experience in general. There ... Read full review


Heroes or Villains? The Categorization
African American Athletes
4 The Rules Have Changed but the Game

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About the author (2006)

Russell T. Wigginton is Vice-President for College Relations and former Assistant Professor of History, Rhodes College, Memphis, Tenn.

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