Thursday, November 17, 2011
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Haines Hall – Room 135 – Media Center
Bunche Center Circle of Thought Lecture Series
“The Negro Athlete and Victory: Traditional African American Advancement and the Origins of the Myth of the Black Athlete”
Dexter Blackman, a visiting assistant professor from LMU, presents a lecture that will examine the influence that the success of black athletes in predominately white athletics in the mid-1930s had on sport at historically black colleges in the era. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, blacks first emerged as national championship athletes in track and field, the premier Olympic sport, and heavyweight boxing, an immensely popular international sport. These accomplishments garnered blacks rare press in the national mainstream (white) press and thus motivated many black spokespersons for the race to call for a greater emphasis on sport at historically black colleges. Many enthusiasts argued that successful black athletes in integrated institutions improved the image of the race by demonstrating that blacks possessed a superior manliness similar to that which allowed Anglo-Americans to build the United States, the pinnacle civilization of the period, and thus advance the race’s claim to equality. The mainstream media heralded these black men as examples of American manliness following their triumphs of athletes from Nazi Germany, the state’s enemies.
Free and open to the public.