Reconstructing FameSport, Race, and Evolving Reputations

Reconstructing FameSport, Race, and Evolving Reputations

David C. Ogden and Joel Nathan Rosen

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781604730913

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


This book includes chapters on Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Curt Flood, Paul Robeson, Jim Thorpe, Bill Russell, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos. The chapters here talk about twentieth-century athletes whose careers were affected by racism and whose post-career reputations have improved as society’s understanding of race changed. The chapters attempt to clarify the stories of these sports stars and their places as twentieth-century icons by analyzing the various myths that surround them. When media, fans, sports leagues, and the athletes themselves commemorate sports legends, shifts in popular perceptions often serve to obscure an athlete’s role in history. Such revisions can lack coherence and trivialize the efforts of some legendary competitors and those associated with them. Adding racial tensions to this process further complicates the task of preserving the valuable achievements of key players.

Table of Contents

Part I The Archetypes

Constucting Banality

Joel Nathan Rosen

Roberto Clemente

David C. Ogden

Part II The Cherished Dead

Paul Robeson

Prosper Godonoo

Remaking an Overlooked Icon

Robert W. Reising

Part III The Living Models

Bill Russell

Murry Nelson


Jack Lule

End Matter