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.
‘While some books get bogged down in detail and dates, this account brings the issues to the surface in a richly accessible manner … An exquisite portrait is created in the reader’s mind to bring culture clashes, arguments, writings and paradoxes into detail. It is a rewarding way to read an academic book, and Carroll should be commended on its style and flow … a wonderful case study for intersections of sport, politics, culture, and the press.’ – Annemarie Farrell, International Journal of Sport Communication
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
The Routledge Research in Sports History series presents leading research in the development and historical significance of modern sport through a collection of historiographical, regional and thematic studies which span a variety of periods, sports and geographical areas. Showcasing ground-breaking, cross-disciplinary work from established and emerging sport historians, the series provides a crucial contribution to the wider study of sport and society.