Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Passing the BatonBlack Women Track Stars and American Identity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Cat M. Ariail

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043482

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043482.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

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: 02 July 2022

Raising the Bar

Raising the Bar

Alice Coachman and the Boundaries of Postwar American Identity, 1946–1948

(p.12) 1 Raising the Bar
Passing the Baton

Cat M. Ariail

University of Illinois Press

This chapter chronicles the international athletic experiences of Alice Coachman, the first black woman to win an Olympic gold medal, examining how her successes, especially at the 1948 Olympic Games, challenged the ideal image of American athleticism and, in turn, American identity. The relative invisibility of Coachman in the white sporting press indicates that she raised uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and American belonging. The interracial homecoming held in her hometown of Albany, Georgia, and a visit to Oval Office further expose how Coachman’s achievement required white America to rethink the relationship between race, gender, and American identity. While black sport culture lauded Coachman, they presented her as figure of black womanhood, reinforcing the centrality of traditional gender roles to ideal Americanness.

Keywords:   Alice Coachman, Olympic Games, race, gender, black womanhood, American identity

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.