Synopses & Reviews
Today, it is nearly impossible to talk about the best basketball players in America without acknowledging the accomplishments of incredibly talented black athletes like Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. A little more than a century ago, however, the game was completely dominated by white players playing on segregated courts and teams. In Breaking Barriers: A History of Integration in Professional Basketball, Douglas Stark details the major moments that led to the sport opening its doors to black players. He charts the progress of integration from Bucky Lew--the first black professional basketball player in 1902--to the modern game played by athletes like Stephen Curry and LeBron James. Although Stark focuses on the official integration of basketball in the late 1940s, the story does not end there. Over the past 60-plus years, black athletes have continued to change the game of basketball in terms of style, social progress, and marketability. Spanning the early 1900s to the present day, no other book features such a comprehensive examination of the key events and figures that led to the integration of professional basketball. In Breaking Barriers, these crucial steps in the history of the sport are placed within the larger context of American history, making this book an essential addition to the literature on sports and race in America.