This book brings into dramatic relief the dilemma, or devil's bargain, that faced the black press in first building up black baseball, then crusading for the sport's integration and, as a result of that largely successful campaign, ultimately encouraging and even ensuring the demise of those same black leagues. Taking a thematic approach, this book focuses each of its chapters on a singular event or phenomenon from and for each decade of the period covered, a period that spans the roughly four decades of the black leagues' existence. Thus, the book drills down on a handful of representative events and phenomena to present a history of the black press and black baseball. Themes include the many ways team owners and the weekly newspapers' editors and writers worked in concert to build up the leagues, the paired fortunes of black players and black writers, the desperation to save the Negro leagues when it became clear integration threatened their survival, and finally the black press’s response to the residues of baseball's decades of segregation.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Great Newspaper War of 1915 2. The Jazz Age: The Black Press, Sports and Poetry 3. “A Perfect Baseball Day”: The East-West Classic 4. ‘This is IT!’: Jackie Robinson and Wendell Smith in Brooklyn, 1947 5. Sacrificing the ‘Golden Goose’ on the Altar of Integration 6. Desperate Measures: The Scouting Campaigns and Baseball Academies of the 1950s 7. The Stubborn South: The Desegregation of Spring Training in the Early 1960s
Brian Carroll is a professor of communication and director of the Honors Program at Berry College in Mount Berry, Ga. He is also author of When to Stop Cheering? The Black Press, the Black Community and the Integration of Professional Baseball (Routledge, 2007) and Writing & Editing for Digital Media (Routledge, 2014).