Faculty Book Event
The story of Texas’s impact on American sports culture during the civil rights and second-wave feminist movements, this book offers a new understanding of sports and society in the state and the nation as a whole.
In the 1960s and 1970s, America experienced a sports revolution. New professional sports franchises and leagues were established, new stadiums were built, football and basketball grew in popularity, and the proliferation of television enabled people across the country to support their favorite teams and athletes from the comfort of their homes. At the same time, the civil rights and feminist movements were reshaping the nation, broadening the boundaries of social and political participation. The Sports Revolution tells how these forces came together in the Lone Star State.
Tracing events from the end of Jim Crow to the 1980s, Frank Guridy chronicles the unlikely alliances that integrated professional and collegiate sports and launched women’s tennis. He explores the new forms of inclusion and exclusion that emerged during the era, including the role the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders played in defining womanhood in the age of second-wave feminism. Guridy explains how the sexual revolution, desegregation, and changing demographics played out both on and off the field as he recounts how the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers and how Mexican American fans and their support for the Spurs fostered a revival of professional basketball in San Antonio. Guridy argues that the catalysts for these changes were undone by the same forces of commercialization that set them in motion and reveals that, for better and for worse, Texas was at the center of America’s expanding political, economic, and emotional investments in sport.
About the Author:
Frank A. Guridy specializes in sport history, urban history, and the history of the African Diaspora in the Americas. His first book, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), won the Elsa Goveia Book Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians and the Wesley-Logan Book Prize, conferred by the American Historical Association. He is also the co-editor of Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latino/a America (NYU Press, 2010), with Gina Pérez and Adrian Burgos, Jr. His articles have appeared in Kalfou, Radical History Review, Caribbean Studies, Social Text, and Cuban Studies. His fellowships and awards include the Scholar in Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the Ray A. Billington Professorship in American History at Occidental College and the Huntington Library. He is also an award-winning teacher, receiving the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas at Austin, and, more recently, the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching at Columbia. His next book project, Assembly in the Fragmented City: A History of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, examines the iconic structure’s impact on the emergence of Los Angeles as a global city.
About the speakers:
Amy Bass is Professor of Sport Studies at Manhattanville College, where her interests focus on sport, culture, and politics, and Chair of the Division of Social Science & Communication. She received a Ph.D. with distinction in history with a comparative in cultural studies from Stony Brook University, and did her undergraduate work at Bates College. Her first book, Not the Triumph but the Struggle: the 1968 Olympic Games and the Making of the Black Athlete, is considered a standard-bearer for those interested in studying sport from a cultural perspective. Her followup, In the Game, solidified that reputation. Her third book, Those About Him Remained Silent: the Battle over W.E.B. Du Bois, received Honorable Mention from the National Council on Public History. Her most recent work, ONE GOAL: A Coach, A Team, and the Game that brought a Divided Town Together, was named a best book of 2018 by the Boston Globe and Library Journal, and was featured on the Today Show, NPR's "The Takeaway," as well as other national media. It has been optioned by Netflix. In its starred review of the book, Kirkus called ONE GOAL "an edifying and adrenaline-charged tale," while the Wall Street Journal declared it "the perfect parable for our time," and the Globe & Mail dubbed it "magnificent and significant."
Josef Sorett is Professor of Religion and African American and African Diaspora Studies at Columbia University, where he is also chair of the Department of Religion and directs the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice. As an interdisciplinary scholar of religion and race in the Americas, Josef employs primarily historical and literary approaches to the study of religion in black communities and cultures in the United States. His first book, Spirit in the Dark: A Religious History of Racial Aesthetics (Oxford University Press, 2016) illumines how religion has figured in debates about black art and culture across the 20th century. A second book, The Holy Holy Black: The Ironies of an American Secular, is forthcoming with Oxford UP. Josef’s scholarly work has been supported with grants from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leone B. Carpenter Foundation, the Arcus Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Louisville Institute, the Forum for Theological Exploration, and Yale University’s Institute for Sacred Music. His research has been published in academic journals and anthologies; and his writing and commentary have also appeared in a range of popular media outlets, including ABC News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, as well as on the BBC and NPR.
Samuel G. Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of the seven acclaimed books, including Breaking The Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Game and Changed the Course of Civil Rights (2013). A tenured professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Freedman was named the nation's outstanding journalism educator in 1997 by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he received Columbia University’s coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Freedman’s class in book-writing has developed more than 70 authors, editors, and agents, and it has been featured in Publishers Weekly and the Christian Science Monitor. He is a board member of the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prizes and Religion News Service as well as a judge in the non-fiction category for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Freedman has spoken at the Smithsonian Institution, Yale University, and UCLA, among other venues, and has appeared on National Public Radio, CNN, the PBS News Hour, MSNBC and ESPN.
Moderated by: Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University and the chair of its African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. She also serves as program director for The Schomburg Center's Scholars-in-Residence Program. Professor Griffin received her BA from Harvard, where she majored in American History and Literature and her PhD in American Studies from Yale. Her major fields of interest are American and African American literature, music, and history. She has published widely on issues of race and gender, feminism and cultural politics. In addition, Griffin’s essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Harper's Bazaar, Art Forum and numerous other publications. She is also a frequent radio commentator on political and cultural issues. Her activism has centered on issues of education, poverty and gender equity especially as they impact women and children. She currently sits on the board of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol, an organization that provides comprehensive, holistic and long-term support services to youth in Central Harlem.
This event is sponsored by ISERP, the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Dean of the Division of Social Science, the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, and the History Department.