Sports Matters: Race, Recreation, and Culture

Hardcover (Print)
Not Available on


"Most of the contributions strongly project the authors' perceptions of the role of race on their subjects, and essays should elicit lively discussions in the classroom."

Frederick Douglass liked to say of West Indian boxer Peter Jackson that "Peter is doing a great deal with his fists to solve the Negro question." His comment reflects the possibilities for social transformation that he saw in the emerging modern sports culture. Indeed, as the twentieth century developed, sports have become an important cultural terrain over which various racial groups have contested, defined, and represented their racial, national, and inter-ethnic identities.

Sports Matters brings critical attention to the centrality of race within the politics and pleasures of the massive sports culture that developed in the U.S. during the past century and a half. The contributors collected here address such issues as popular representations of blacks in sports. They consider baseball—from Nisei players in Oregon to Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles. And they look at the use of warrior imagery in representations of Native American athletes and the evolution of black expressive style within basketball.

Sports Matters challenges our presumptions about sports, illuminating in the process the complexities of race and gender as they relate to popular culture.

Contributors include Amy Bass, John Bloom, Annie Gilbert Coleman, Gena Caponi, Montye Fuse, Randy Hanson, Michiko Hase, George Lipsitz, Keith Miller, Sharon O'Brien, Connie Razza, Sam Regalado, Greg Rodriguez, Julio Rodriguez, Michael Willard, and Henry Yu.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814798812
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bloom teaches American Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He is the author of A House of Cards: Baseball Card Collecting and Popular Culture, and To Show What an Indian Can Do: Sports at Indian Boarding Schools.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction: Out of Bounds and between the Lines: Race in Twentieth-Century American Sport 1
I Sports in the Era of Segregation 11
1 Duke Kahanamoku's Body: Biography of Hawai'i 13
2 Jump for Joy: Jump Blues, Dance, and Basketball in 1930s African America 39
3 Baseball along the Columbia: The Nisei, Their Community, Their Sport in Northern Oregon 75
4 Mexican American Baseball: Masculinity, Racial Struggle, and Labor Politics in Southern California, 1930-1950 86
II Sports in the Era of the Civil Rights Movement 117
5 Jazzing the Basepaths: Jackie Robinson and African American Aesthetics 119
6 The Unbearable Whiteness of Skiing 141
7 "We Want a Pennant, Not a White Team": How Boston's Ethnic and Racial History Shaped the Red Sox 169
8 Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars? Race, Nation, and Power at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics 185
9 Documenting Myth: Racial Representation in Leon Gast's When We Were Kings 209
III Sports and Race in the Post-Cold War Era 223
10 The Silence of the Rams: How St. Louis School Children Subsidize the Super Bowl Champs 225
11 Warriors and Thieves: Appropriations of the Warrior Motif in Representations of Native American Athletes 246
12 Running with Her Head Down: Oprah Winfrey and Middle-Class Black Women's Discourses of Fitness 264
13 Saving Face, Place, and Race: Oscar De La Hoya and the "All-American" Dreams of U.S. Boxing 279
14 Race in Soccer as a Global Sport 299
15 Tiger Woods at the Center of History: Looking Back at the Twentieth Century through the Lenses of Race, Sports, and Mass Consumption 320
About the Contributors 355
Index 359
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)