Synopses & Reviews
The campaign for racial equality in sports has both reflected and affected the campaign for racial equality in the United States. Some of the most significant and publicized stories in this campaign in the twentieth century have happened in sports, including, of course, Jackie Robinson in baseball; Jesse Owens, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos in track; Arthur Ashe in tennis; and Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali in boxing. Long after the full integration of college and professional athletics, race continues to play a major role in sports. Not long ago, sportswriters and sportscasters ignored racial issues. They now contribute to the publicandrsquo;s evolving racial attitudes on issues both on and off the field, ranging from integration to self-determination to masculinity.
From Jack Johnson to LeBron James examines the intersection of sports, race, and the media in the twentieth century and beyond. The essays are linked by a number of questions, including: How did the black and white media differ in content and context in their reporting of these stories? How did the media acknowledge race in their stories? Did the media recognize these stories as historically significant? Considering how media coverage has evolved over the years, the essays begin with the racially charged reporting of Jack Johnsonandrsquo;s reign as heavyweight champion and carry up to the present, covering the media narratives surrounding the Michael Vick dogfighting case in a supposedly post-racial era and the mediaandrsquo;s handling of LeBron Jamesandrsquo;s announcement to leave Cleveland for Miami.
Contributors in journalism, multicultural studies, and communicationchronicle the quest for racial equality in professional sports in America in the 20th and 21st centuries, looking specifically at therole of black and white sportswriters for white and African American newspapers. Boxing, football, and baseball are the main sportsdiscussed. Some chapters are devoted to specific figures and cases, such as Jesse Owens and the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, the exclusionof blacks from the National Football League 1934-46, Kenny Washington in the NFL, and Jackie Robinson and the integration ofbaseball. Other chapters explore issues such as print media coverage of the 1968 Olympic protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos, mediacoverage of Curt Flood’s lawsuit against major league baseball, race in media coverage of Michael Vick, and discussing sports and raceonline. The final chapter examines the LeBron James decision in the age of Obama.Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
In the spring of 1946, following the defeat of Hitlerand#8217;s Germany, America found itself still struggling with the subtler but no less insidious tyrannies of racism and segregation at home. In the midst of it all, Jackie Robinson, a full year away from breaking major league baseballand#8217;s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, was undergoing a harrowing dress rehearsal for integrationand#8212;his first spring training as a minor league prospect with the Montreal Royals, Brooklynand#8217;s AAA team. In Blackout
, Chris Lamb tells what happened during these six weeks in segregated Floridaand#8212;six weeks that would become a critical juncture for the national pastime and for an American society on the threshold of a civil rights revolution.
Blackout chronicles Robinsonand#8217;s tremendous ordeal during that crucial spring trainingand#8212;how he struggled on the field and off. The restaurants and hotels that welcomed his white teammates were closed to him, and in one city after another he was prohibited from taking the field. Steeping his story in its complex cultural context, Lamb describes Robinsonand#8217;s determination and anxiety, the reaction of the black and white communities to his appearance, and the unique and influential role of the pressand#8212;mainstream reporting, the alternative black weeklies, and the Communist Daily Workerand#8212;in the integration of baseball. Told here in detail for the first time, this story brilliantly encapsulates the larger history of a man, a sport, and a nation on the verge of great and enduring change.
About the Author
Chris Lamb is a professor of journalism at Indiana Universityandndash;Purdue University at Indianapolis. He is the author of Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball (Nebraska, 2012) and Blackout: The Story of Jackie Robinsonandrsquo;s First Spring Training (Nebraska, 2004), among other books.