Cover image for Separate games : African American sport behind the walls of segregation / edited by David K. Wiggins and Ryan A. Swanson.
Separate games : African American sport behind the walls of segregation / edited by David K. Wiggins and Ryan A. Swanson.
Fayetteville : University of Arkansas Press, 2016.
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Introduction -- Teams: Cuban giants: black baseball's early sports stars / Smilin' Bob Douglas and the Renaissance Big Five / The Philadelphia Tribune newsgirls: African American women's basketball at its best / The Tennessee State Tigerbelles: cold warriors of the track / Events: The National Interscholastic Basketball Tournament: The crown jewel of African American high school sports during the era of segregation / The black heart of Dixie: The Turkey Day Classic and race in twentieth-century Alabama / Gold and Glory Sweepstakes: An African American racing experience / The East West Classic: Black America's baseball fiesta / Organizations: Creating order in black college sport: the lasting legacy of the Colored Intercollegiate Athletic Association / Game, set, and separatism: The American Tennis Association, a tennis vanguard / Pars and birdies in a hidden world: African Americans and the United Golfers Association / Basement bowlers: The National Negro Bowling Association and its legacy of black leadership, 1939-1968
The hardening of racial lines during the first half of the twentieth century eliminated almost all African Americans from white organized sports, forcing black athletes to form their own teams, organizations, and events. This separate sporting culture, explored in the twelve essays included here, comprised much more than athletic competition; these "separate games" provided examples of black enterprise and black self-help and showed the importance of agency and the quest for racial uplift in a country fraught with racialist thinking and discrimination.

The significance of this sporting culture is vividly showcased in the stories of the Cuban Giants baseball team, basketball's New York Renaissance Five, the Tennessee State Tigerbelles track-and-field team, black college football's Turkey Bowl Classic, car racing's Gold and Glory Sweepstakes, Negro League Baseball's East-West All-Star game, and many more. These teams, organizations, and events made up a vibrant national sporting complex that remained in existence until the integration of sports beginning in the late 1940s. Separate Games explores the fascinating ways sports helped bind the black community and illuminate race pride, business acumen, and organizational abilities.
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