Title

The Quest for Equality: African American Males Breaking Barriers in Professional Sports (1920-2013)

Presenter Information

Mia Patterson

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 201

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

African Americans, Professional Sports, Males

Abstract

African Americans have confronted segregation and racism since the 1600s and the establishment of Jamestown heralded hardship that allowed for the manifestation of racism in today’s society. The first ship carrying indentured servants, free African Americans and slaves arrived at Jamestown in 1640 (Hine, William and Stanley, 2011). Great Britain declared African Americans, who were not free, were to be “slaves for life,” and thus began the segregation of African and European Americans (Hine, et. al. 2011: 60). After Emancipation, Jim Crowism, the practice of segregating and discriminating against African Americans, permeated everyday lives of African Americans. Despite segregation, African Americans were eagerly seeking involvement in athletics of all kinds, only on a more isolated basis because of Jim Crowism. During the Jim Crow period, African Americans were banned from competing in professional and amateur sports with white Americans. Nevertheless, African Americans made significant contributions both in and out of the professional sports sector. With the development of semiprofessional and professional leagues in popular culture, African Americans eventually challenged the boundaries of Jim Crowism to be recognized in the professional sports industry. This presentation will summarize my research and evaluate the advancement of professional sports from all-white institutions to the inclusion of African American males from the early 1920s to the early 2000s. It will also discuss the social and political movements of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as how specific African American male athletes broke racial barriers and influenced the professional sports sector over time.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Hall, Raymond

Additional Mentoring Department

Africana and Black Studies

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May 15th, 8:50 AM May 15th, 9:10 AM

The Quest for Equality: African American Males Breaking Barriers in Professional Sports (1920-2013)

SURC Room 201

African Americans have confronted segregation and racism since the 1600s and the establishment of Jamestown heralded hardship that allowed for the manifestation of racism in today’s society. The first ship carrying indentured servants, free African Americans and slaves arrived at Jamestown in 1640 (Hine, William and Stanley, 2011). Great Britain declared African Americans, who were not free, were to be “slaves for life,” and thus began the segregation of African and European Americans (Hine, et. al. 2011: 60). After Emancipation, Jim Crowism, the practice of segregating and discriminating against African Americans, permeated everyday lives of African Americans. Despite segregation, African Americans were eagerly seeking involvement in athletics of all kinds, only on a more isolated basis because of Jim Crowism. During the Jim Crow period, African Americans were banned from competing in professional and amateur sports with white Americans. Nevertheless, African Americans made significant contributions both in and out of the professional sports sector. With the development of semiprofessional and professional leagues in popular culture, African Americans eventually challenged the boundaries of Jim Crowism to be recognized in the professional sports industry. This presentation will summarize my research and evaluate the advancement of professional sports from all-white institutions to the inclusion of African American males from the early 1920s to the early 2000s. It will also discuss the social and political movements of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as how specific African American male athletes broke racial barriers and influenced the professional sports sector over time.