Full Court Press: Mississippi State University, the Press, and the Battle to Integrate College Basketball


Product Details

University Press of Mississippi
Publish Date
6.14 X 9.21 X 0.61 inches | 0.93 pounds

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About the Author

Jason A. Peterson is assistant professor of communication at Charleston Southern University. A former journalist and public relations practitioner, Peterson's work has been published in American Journalism: A Journal of Media History and in the book From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line.


Peterson's research and presentation of how the 1960s press handled this segregation issue in print is extensive and informative. . . . Recommended. All readers.-- "CHOICE"
The celebrity phenomena of, say, LeBron James and Stephen Curry owe their possibility to a roster of names few outside of the state of Mississippi have ever heard: Coolidge Ball, Wilbert Jordan Jr., Larry Fry, and Jerry Jenkins. These barrier breakers integrated the hardwoods of the Magnolia State against the entrenched and well-funded wishes of the state's power elites. It's a little-known story. Fortunately, Jason A. Peterson decided to tell it and to ground that story in the archives of Mississippi's many daily and weekly newspapers. The result is an important chronicle compellingly told. African American history, which is to say American history, is better off for it.--Brian Carroll, author of The Black Press and Black Baseball, 1915-1955: A Devil's Bargain and When to Stop the Cheering? The Black Press, the Black Community, and the Integration of Professional Baseball
This well-researched investigation is a welcome contribution to the ever-expanding body of scholarship documenting Mississippi's long struggle for civil rights. Studies examining the Magnolia State's closed society ethos have rarely employed popular culture as a tool for unlocking meaning in the state's long and complex struggle over black freedom. The book clearly displays that the saliency of both popular sports and the newsprint media covering them deserve equal recognition next to the state's voting booths, picket lines, and lunch counters as sights for contested meaning in Mississippi's battle over integration. With insightful analysis and carefully crafted argument, Jason Peterson reminds us that sports and their media culture have long been a window through which both Mississippi and the nation perceive their ideas about race and inclusion.--Kevin D. Greene, codirector of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi
Scholars who teach graduate courses or are interested in the intersection between civil rights and journalism history, journalism history and sports, or civil rights and southern political history may want to reserve a place for Full Court Press on their reading lists or in their personal libraries.--Pete Smith "Journalism History"
Peterson's archival research is impressive. He examines nearly every publication and sports editor in the state of Mississippi from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. . . . Full Court Press [provides] us with historical context for the press's coverage of issues of sport and race that is critical to understanding what we see in news today.--Robert D. Byrd, Jr. "Newspaper Research Journal"
A well-organized volume that is written with enough skill to attract some readers outside of traditional academia--Jeffery Martin "Mississippi Libraries"
Full Court Press is certainly a must-read for any Mississippian as well as for historians of sports and race.--Josh Howard "The Journal of Southern History"