The Set-Up Men

Race, Culture and Resistance in Black Baseball

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About the Book

This book is an examination of cultural resistance to segregation in the world of black baseball through an analysis of editorial art, folktales, nicknames, “manhood” and the art of clowning. African Americans worked to dismantle Jim Crow through the creation of a cultural counter-narrative that centered on baseball and the Negro Leagues that celebrated black achievement and that highlighted the contradictions and fallacies of white supremacy in the first half of the twentieth century.

About the Author(s)

Sarah L. Trembanis is an associate professor of history at Immaculata University, Pennsylvania. She lives in Middletown Delaware.

Bibliographic Details

Sarah L. Trembanis
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 14 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7796-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1657-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction—“A jim-crow affair”: Negro League Baseball 7

One. Sport and the Contest Over Space 19

Two. “A man and a gentleman in every respect”: Negotiating Black Manhood and Respectability in a Segregated Sport 55

Three. Representing Race: Black Baseball and Visual Images 83

Four. Signifying Baseball: Tricksters and Folklore in Black Baseball 125

Five. Giants and a Gentleman: Naming and Resistance in the Negro Leagues 140

Six. Send in the Clowns: Clowning Teams and Trickster Resistance 157

Epilogue 169

Notes 177

Bibliography 205

Index 221


Book Reviews & Awards

“this book adds to the growing literature on black baseball”—Library Journal; “these are happy days for baseball research…excellent…the author knows her baseball history, both white and black, thoroughly…well written and researched…thoroughly documented…highly recommended”—Choice; “Trembanis effectively and succinctly tackles the complex, deep subject of Negro leagues baseball, cultural meaning, and public representation…recommend”—Sport in American History; “a compelling read and a welcomed contribution to the ever-expanding study of black baseball”—Gregory H. Wolf.