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Rooting for the Home TeamSport, Community, and Identity$
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Daniel A. Nathan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037610

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037610.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The Biggest “Classic” of Them All

The Biggest “Classic” of Them All

The Howard University and Lincoln University Thanksgiving Day Football Games, 1919–1929

(p.36) 2. The Biggest “Classic” of Them All
Rooting for the Home Team

David K. Wiggins

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the spirited football rivalry between Howard University and Lincoln University, two historically black universities, by focusing on their annual Thanksgiving Day football games held from 1919 to 1929. African Americans established a number of successful and important separate sports programs during the latter half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. Some of the most important of these programs were those established at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The Howard and Lincoln Thanksgiving Day matchups during the 1920s, a decade commonly termed the “golden age of American sport,” drew some attention in both the white and black press, and among upper-class African Americans in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and other black communities across the country. This chapter argues that the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between Howard and Lincoln universities was more than just a game. It was “an athletic and social event that provided upper-class African Americans the opportunity to exhibit racial pride, measure themselves against the standards of white universities, and come together as a distinct group”.

Keywords:   football, Howard University, Lincoln University, Thanksgiving Day football games, African Americans, sports programs, historically black, sport, racial pride, white universities

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