Playing for Equality

Oral Histories of Women Leaders in the Early Years of Title IX

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About the Book

The right to participate in sports and competitive athletics is more than an issue of fair play—it’s a matter of human rights. In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments became law, transforming sports opportunities for girls and women in the U.S.
Based on oral histories, this book chronicles Title IX’s impact through the stories of eight women physical educators, coaches, Olympic athletes and administrators. They recall the experience of being female in the mid–20th century, their influential teachers and mentors, and their work to create opportunities.
The eight narratives reveal gender, race and class inequity in higher education and athletics and describe how women leaders worked through sports to make women’s rights human rights.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Diane LeBlanc, professor of interdisciplinary studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, directs the writing program and teaches writing and gender studies.
Allys Swanson, professor emerita of exercise and sport sciences at Saint Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, conducted 30+ oral histories during her 46-year career. She was the athletic director and tennis coach and has served as chair of the Physical Education and later Exercise and Sport Sciences departments.

Bibliographic Details

Diane LeBlanc and Allys Swanson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6300-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2698-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. Catherine Allen: Building Community through Recreation 9

2. Ruth Schellberg: Guiding Girls and Women through the Wilderness 31

3. Celeste Ulrich: Speaking Out During Title IX Transitions 42

4. Fay Biles: Empowering Women through Fitness and Fundraising 62

5. Dorothy McIntyre: Changing Minnesota High School Athletics 90

6. Willye White: Competing for an Equal Chance in Life 115

7. Doris Corbett: Promoting Human Rights through Sport 130

8. Anita DeFrantz: Making the World More Like an Olympic Village 158

Chapter Notes 193

References 194

Index 197

Book Reviews & Awards

“[A] fascinating look at the lives of the early pioneers…how they navigated, ‘without maps or models,’ gender and race and sport in the years before Title IX.”—Sport in American History.