Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers


Product Details

University of Nebraska Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.72 inches | 1.04 pounds

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About the Author

Gerald R. Gems is a professor in the Kinesiology Department at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, and vice president of the International Society for the History of Physical Education and Sport. He is the author of several books, including Boxing: A Concise History of the Sweet Science and The Athletic Crusade: Sport and American Cultural Imperialism (Nebraska, 2006).


"These essays, taken together, highlight the importance of incremental change in popular conceptions of African American public figures and the intersections of athletics, entertainment, and politics in the days before Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball."--Katherine Mooney, Journal of Sport History
"[Before Jackie Robinson] highlights relatively unknown yet vitally important figures, men and women whose stories enrich and enlarge the understanding of American race relations through the lens of athletics."--Frank E. Dobson Jr., Journal of American Culture-- (6/12/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"[Before Jackie Robinson is] a necessary and useful look at sports in commentary that encompasses racial, gender and social lenses."--Bob D'Angelo, Sports Bookie-- (2/26/2017 12:00:00 AM)
"Gerald Gems has brought together the experiences of twelve African American athletes who broke down barriers and participated in sports in which they excelled. The authors provide readers with information about both well- and little-known African American athletes who triumphed over anti-black racism, served as examples for those who followed, and contributed to the complex narrative of sport in US history."--Amy Essington, Journal of African American History-- (12/13/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"This homage to "those who came before" brings fresh eyes to the African American athletic fold. The most appealing aspect about this text is the way it exposes a new audience to various African American athletes who have rarely been covered."--Jack Cornwell, Chronicles of Oklahoma
"This anthology will serve as a tantalizing introduction to race and sport."--Donald Spivey, professor of history at the University of Miami and the author of Black Pearls of Wisdom: Voicing the African-American Journey for Freedom, Empowerment, and the Future-- (2/25/2016 12:00:00 AM)