The Black Athlete as Hero

American Barrier Breakers from Nine Sports

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SKU: 9781476678863 Categories: , ,

About the Book

Part history, part biography, this study examines the Black athlete’s search to unify what W.E.B. DuBois called the “two unreconciled strivings” of African Americans—the struggle to survive in black society while adapting to white society. Black athletes have served as vanguards of change, challenging the dominant culture, crossing social boundaries and raising political awareness. Champions like Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, Wilma Rudolph, Roberto Clemente, Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Serena Williams, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James make a difference, even as many in the Black community question the idea of athletes as role models. The author argues the importance of sports heroes in a panic-plagued era beset with class division and racial privilege.

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About the Author(s)

Joseph Dorinson, a professor of history, teaches at Long Island University and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Joseph Dorinson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7886-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4596-4
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“An extremely impressive and encompassing work. Its purposeful intent, as the author states at different locations throughout the narrative, is to highlight the role of black athletes, their personalities and prowess, who in their idiosyncratic pathways ‘strove heroically to bend the arc of history.’”—Joseph Boskin, Boston University

The Black Athlete as Hero makes a significant contribution with its coverage of athletes not included in other collections and by bringing together so many in one place. The author’s personal ties to many of the athletes is also unique.”—Leslie Heaphy, author, The Negro Leagues, 1869-1960.