The Historiography of Race and Discrimination in Baseball and Sports

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The Historiography of Race and Discrimination in Baseball and Sports Historical and sociological research has shown, through much evidence collection and analysis of primary documents that the American sporting industry can give an accurate reflection, to a certain extent, of racial struggles and discrimination into the larger context of American society. To understand this stance, a deep look into aspects of sport beyond simply playing the game must be a primary focus. Since the integration of baseball, followed shortly after by American football, why are the numbers of African American owners, coaches and managers so very low? What accounts for the absence of African American candidates from seeking front office and managerial roles? Is a conscious decision made by established members of each organization or is this matter a deeper reflection on society? Why does a certain image and persona exist amongst many African American athletes? Sports historians often take a look at sports and make a comparison to society. Beginning in the early 1980’s, historians began looking at the integration of baseball and how it preceded the civil rights movement. The common conclusion was that integration in baseball and other sports was indeed a reflection on American society. As African Americans began to play in sports, a short time later, Jim Crow laws and segregation formally came to an end in the south. Does racism and discrimination end with the elimination of Jim Crow and the onset of the civil rights movement and other instances of race awareness and equality? According to many modern sports historians and sociologists, they do not. This paper will focus on the writings of selected historians and sociologists who examine th... ... middle of paper ... ...lic of Sports. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2011. Hoberman, John M. 1997. Darwin's athletes: how sport has damaged Black America and preserved the myth of race. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin Co Jiobu, Robert M., “Racial Inequality in a Public Arena: The Case of Professional Baseball”. Social Forces , Vol. 67, No. 2 (Dec., 1988), pp. 524-534 Oxford University Press Shropshire, Kenneth L. 1996. In black and white: race and sports in America. New York: New York University Press. Smith , Earl. Race, Sport and the American Dream. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2007. Tygiel, Jules. Baseballs Great Experiment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Wiggins, David Kenneth, and Patrick B. Miller. 2003. The unlevel playing field: a documentary history of the African American experience in sport. Urbana: University of Illinois Press

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