Course Details

HIST 214: Sport and the Color Line

Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans have broken racial barriers, confronted racial stereotypes, and garnered unprecedented success in sport. In this course, students will explore the relationship of the black athlete to the color line. We will complicate the historical view of sport as a site of professional advancement and race reform by demonstrating how societal racial practices were reconstructed within athletics. In essence, this course will emphasize the role sport performed in structuring racial exclusion as athletic arenas—like movie theaters, railroads, schools, and other public sites—shaped what Historian Grace Elizabeth Hale has termed the “culture of segregation.” Though our primary focus will be on the experiences African Americans encountered, we will also probe the color line beyond its typical black-white binary. Thus, we will examine the achievements and altercations that other ethnic and racial groups realized in their transnational push for equality and inclusion.
6 credits; HI, IDS, WR2; Not offered 2021-2022