Sports in African History, Politics, and Identity Formation explores how sports can render a key to unlocking complex social, political, economic, and gendered relations across Africa and the Diaspora.
Sports hold significant value and have an intricate relationship with many components of African societies throughout history. For many Africans, sports are a way of life, a site of cultural heroes, a way out of poverty and social mobility, and a site for leisurely play. This book focuses on the many ways in which sports uniquely reflect changing cultural trends at diverse levels of African societies. The contributors detail various sports, such as football, cricket, ping pong, and rugby, across the continent to show how sports lay at the heart of the discourse of nationalism, self-fashioning, gender and masculinity, leisure and play, challenges of underdevelopment, and ideas of progress.
Bringing together the newest and most innovative scholarship on African sports, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary Africa, African history, culture and society, and sports history and politics.
Table of Contents
Michael Gennaro and Saheed Aderinto
Part 1: Region-Based Essays
West and Central Africa
1. "I Was Really Disgusted at Seeing Healthy Young Boys Playing Ping Pong": Ping-Pong and Masculinity in Post–World War II Nigeria
2. Pas de Deux as I Tell You: Physical Education, Dance, and the Remaking of Discipline in World War II Brazzaville
Danielle Porter Sanchez
3. Cameroonian Cricket: The Interface between Local and Dominant Colonial Ideologies
4. Political Action in Sports Development Under the National Liberation Council (NLC) Era in Ghana
5. "The Best of the Best": The Politicization of Sports under Ghana’s Supreme Military Council
Humphrey Asamoah Agyekum
6. "We Have Material Second to None": Colored Sportsmen and Masculine Competition in the South African Press, 1936–1960
Cody S. Perkins
7. Playing Away from Home: The Nature of Soccer Integration in South Africa, 1978–1984
8. Examining Physical Culture in a Local Context
9. "Visionary Courtyard Players": The Robben Island Rugby Board and the Transition to Post-Apartheid South Africa, c. 1972–1992
10. The Birth of the Springboks: How Early International Rugby Matches Unified White Cultural Identity in South Africa
Zachary R. Bigalke
11. A Tale of Two Sports Fields: Contested Spaces, Histories, and Identities at Play in Rural South Africa
North and East Africa
12. The Bulldog, the Pharaoh, and Football: British Imperialism and Egypt’s National Sport and Identity, 1882–1934
13. Sports and Physical Education in Ethiopia during the Italian Occupation, 1936–1941
Tamirat Gebremariam and Benoit Gaudin
Part 2: Theme-Based Essays
Diaspora and the Economic and International Dimension
14. Commercialization of Football in Africa: Prospects, Challenges, and Experiences
15. Islam and the Foreign Other: Representing the Alterity of Hakeem Olajuwon
16. Afro-Orientalism in the Global Village: Media Imaginations of South Africa and Africa in the Coverage of the 2010 World Cup
Michael J. Gennaro is Assistant Professor of History at Bossier Parish Community College, USA.
Saheed Aderinto is Associate Professor of History at Western Carolina University, USA.