Men's College Athletics and the Politics of Racial Equality: Five Pioneer Stories of Black Manliness, White Citizenship, and American Democracy

College sports have provided a compelling means to discuss issues regarding racial equality and fairness in American life. As previously white institutions of higher learning gradually (and grudgingly) opened their playing fields to African-American athletes in men's basketball and football, black and white spectators interpreted mixed-race team sports in often contradictory ways. In Men's College Athletics and the Politics of Racial Equality, Gregory Kaliss offers stunning insights into Americans' contested visions of equality, fairness, black manhood, citizenship, and an equal opportunity society. Kaliss looks at Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, Wilt Chamberlain, Charlie Scott, John Mitchell, Wilbur Marshall, and Bear Bryant to show how Americans responded to racial integration over time. Men's College Athletics and the Politics of Racial Equality reveals that as fans, media members, university students, faculty, and administration - black and white - discussed the achievements and struggles of these athletes, they inevitably talked about much more than what occurred on the field. Gregory J. Kaliss is Associate Editor, Volume 9 of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, and Research Associate in American Studies at Franklin & Marshall College.