Integrating the Gridiron: Black civil rights and American College Football

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11 Scopus citations


Integrating the Gridiron, the first book devoted to exploring the racial politics of college athletics, examines the history of African Americans on predominantly white college football teams from the nineteenth century through today. Lane Demas compares the acceptance and treatment of black student athletes by presenting compelling stories of those who integrated teams nationwide, and illuminates race relations in a number of regions, including the South, Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast. Focused case studies examine the University of California, Los Angeles in the late 1930s; integrated football in the Midwest and the 1951 Johnny Bright incident; the southern response to black players and the 1955 integration of the Sugar Bowl; and black protest in college football and the 1969 University of Wyoming "Black 14." Each of these issues drew national media attention and transcended the world of sports, revealing how fans--and non-fans--used college football to shape their understanding of the larger civil rights movement.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherRutgers University Press
Number of pages194
ISBN (Print)9780813547411
StatePublished - 2010


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