Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
GlobetrottingAfrican American Athletes and Cold War Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Damion L. Thomas

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037177

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037177.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

“Spreading the Gospel of Basketball”

“Spreading the Gospel of Basketball”

The Harlem Globetrotters, the State Department, and the Minstrel Tradition, 1945–54

Chapter:
(p.41) 2. “Spreading the Gospel of Basketball”
Source:
Globetrotting
Author(s):

Damion L. Thomas

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252037177.003.0003

This chapter focuses on the Harlem Globetrotters as Cold Warriors between 1947 and 1954. This is an important moment because prior to the passage of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the State Department was in the unenviable position of trying to defend segregation while stressing racial progress. Moreover, the politics of symbolism associated with the Globetrotters' tours was designed to give legitimacy to existing racial inequalities in American society by stressing “progress” during the early Cold War era, despite the social, political, and legal barriers that hindered African American advancement. The symbol of the successful yet segregated athlete allowed the government to argue that segregation was not an impediment to the advancement of individual African Americans.

Keywords:   basketball, Harlem Globetrotters, segregation, racial progress, symbolism, African American advancement, segregated athletes

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.