Date of Award

Summer 4-18-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

History

First Advisor

Glenn McNair

Abstract

My project investigates the evolution of the black athlete in the twentieth century as a significant figure in America’s debate on race. Each chapter is devoted to specific athletes or events that show the process of this evolution taking place and how it affected racial discourse in America. It begins in the beginning of the twentieth century with Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion of the world, and goes up to the 1968 Olympics and the Black Power salute. Through examining the evolution of the black athlete, I trace the debate over race in sports and determine what the significance of this debate is in American society as a whole.

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