Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball

Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball

by Chris Lamb
Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball

Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Long Campaign to Desegregate Baseball

by Chris Lamb

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Overview

The campaign to desegregate baseball was one of the most important civil rights stories of the 1930s and 1940s. But most of white America knew nothing about this story because mainstream newspapers said little about the color line and still less about the efforts to end it. Even today, as far as most Americans know, the integration of baseball revolved around Branch Rickey’s signing of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization in 1945. This book shows how Rickey’s move, critical as it may have been, came after more than a decade of work by Black and left-leaning journalists to desegregate the game.
Drawing on hundreds of newspaper articles and interviews with journalists, Chris Lamb reveals how differently Black and white newspapers, and Black and white America, viewed racial equality. Between 1933 and 1945, Black newspapers and the communist Daily Worker published hundreds of articles and editorials calling for an end to baseball’s color line, while white mainstream sportswriters perpetuated the color line by participating in what their Black counterparts called a “conspiracy of silence.” The alternative presses’ efforts to end baseball’s color line, chronicled for the first time in Conspiracy of Silence, constitute one of the great untold stories of baseball—and the civil rights movement.
 


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496230355
Publisher: Nebraska
Publication date: 10/29/2021
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 416
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Chris Lamb is chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Relations at Indiana University–Indianapolis. He is the editor, author, or coauthor of eleven books, including Sports Journalism: A History of Glory, Fame, and Technology (Nebraska, 2020), From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line (Nebraska, 2016), and Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Spring Training (Nebraska, 2004).
 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Part 1
1.  White Sportswriters and Minstrel Shows

Part 2
2. The Color Line Is Drawn       
3.  Invisible Men
4. “Agitators” and “Social-Minded Drum Beaters”
(written with Kelly Rusinack) 

Part 3
5. “L’affaire Jake Powell”
6.  Major League Managers and Ballplayers Call for End of Color Line     

Part 4
7.  The Double V Campaign   
8.  “The Great White Father” Speaks
9.  Black Editors Make Their Case for Desegregation 
10. “Get Those Niggers Off the Field”   

Part 5
11.  Robinson Becomes the Chosen One

Part 6
12.  “I Never Want to Take Another Trip Like This One”

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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