Essays exploring the complex and evolving status of athletes of color.
With essays by Ron Briley, Michael Ezra, Sarah K. Fields, Billy Hawkins, Jorge Iber, Kurt Kemper, Michael E. Lomax, Samuel O. Regalado, Richard Santillan, and Maureen Smith.
This anthology explores the intersection of race, ethnicity, and sports and analyzes the forces that shaped the African American and Latino sports experience in post-World War II America. Contributors reveal that sports often reinforced dominant ideas about race and racial supremacy but that at other times sports became a platform for addressing racial and social injustices.
The African American sports experience represented the continuation of the ideas of Black Nationalism--racial solidarity, black empowerment, and a determination to fight against white racism. Three of the essayists discuss the protest at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. In football, baseball, basketball, boxing, and track and field, African American athletes moved toward a position of group strength, establishing their own values and simultaneously rejecting the cultural norms of whites. Among Latinos, athletic achievement inspired community celebrations and became a way to express pride in ethnic and religious heritages as well as a diversion from the work week. Sports was a means by which leadership and survival tactics were developed and used in the political arena and in the fight for justice.
Michael E. Lomax —
Michael E. Lomax is associate professor of health and sport studies at the University of Iowa and the author of Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1860-1901: Operating by Any Means Necessary.
Sports and the racial divide: African American and Latino experience in an era of change, ed. by Michael E. Lomax. University Press of Mississippi, 2008. 220p index afp ISBN 1-60473-014-5; ISBN 9781604730142. Reviewed in 2009apr CHOICE.
Looking at the complexity of the relationships between sport and race, this book provides insights into African American and Latino athletes' experiences after WW II and during the Black Power movement of the 1960s. Arguing that sports have allowed black nationalism to continue and flourish, the essays provide numerous examples that verify that sports such as boxing, football, basketball, baseball, and track and field have provided opportunities for group dominance among African Americans. One essay discusses the powerful black fist raised in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, looking at the impact that one symbol has had on African American solidarity and empowerment. Other contributors consider how, for Latinos, sports provided a way for community building and for developing pride in Latino ethnic and religious heritages. For Latinos, hegemony and a survival stratagem rose out of participating in sports; in the political arena sports allowed them to fight for their integrity and for fair treatment. With this collection, Lomax (Univ. of Iowa) uses sports to expand scholarship about age-old controversies about African American and Latino/a politics, race, gender, ethnicity, and social mobility.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals. -- M. E. Beagle, Berea College