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Abstract or Description

Blacks have played an integral role in the development and increase in popularity of sports in America. However, it is not without great strife that African Americans and other blacks achieved success in the sporting world. Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation extended beyond typical public facilities and onto playing fields. The story of baseball’s Negro Leagues documents how black athletes of equal or greater talent to their white counterparts were restricted from playing in the Major Leagues for much more money, and instead played in the all-black but arguably equally competitive leagues in response.

Black golfers, like other black athletes, not only had to overcome these hurdles, but often they had to do so as individuals with little help. Additionally, the efforts for desegregation in golf happened at a much slower pace than compared to more mainstream sports such as baseball and boxing.1 Louis himself became an avid golfer and advocate for equal rights in the game, helpingthe likes of Ted Rhodes, Bill Spiller, and Charlie Sifford become nationally-renowned figures within the African-American community.


Department of History

Steven Schlossman, advisor