During the African American cultural resurgence of the 1920s and 1930s, professional athletes shared the spotlight with artists and intellectuals. Negro League baseball teams played in New York City’s major-league stadiums and basketball clubs shared the bill with jazz bands at late night casinos. Yet sports rarely appear in the literature on the Harlem Renaissance.
Although the black intelligentsia largely dismissed the popularity of sports, the press celebrated athletics as a means to participate in the debates of the day. A few prominent writers, such as Claude McKay and James Weldon Johnson, used sports in distinctive ways to communicate their vision of the Renaissance. Meanwhile, the writers of the Harlem press promoted sports with community consciousness, insightful analysis and a playful love of language, and argued for their importance in the fight for racial equality.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Daniel Anderson is an assistant professor of English and the director of American Studies at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Introduction: Examining the Harlem Renaissance
Through the Prism of Sports 3
Part I: Literature and the Renaissance Intelligentsia
1. The “Discipline of Work and Play”: Athletics, Education and the Harlem Intelligentsia’s Concept of Culture 21
2. “Minds of Fleetful Thoughts”: Negro League Baseball, Intellectualism and the Black Bourgeoisie 41
3. Escaping the Iron Cage: Sports, Art and Performance in Harlem’s “Black Bohemia” 57
4. The “Lost Arts”: Baseball and Boxing in the Historiography of James Weldon Johnson 80
Part II: Sportswriting and the Harlem Press
5. “Jazz Journalism”: Sportswriting and Popular Culture in the Black Press 101
6. “A Course in the Curriculum of the Institution”: Sports and Politics in the Harlem Press 118
7. “Race First” in the Sports Section: Romeo Dougherty and Harlem’s Caribbean Circle 140
8. The Dean’s Demise: The Sudden Fall and Long Disappearance of Romeo Dougherty 164
Epilogue: Arna Bontemps, Sterling Brown and the End of an Era 179
Chapter Notes 187