Choice recommends Separate Games for all readers.

Choice recommends Separate Games for all readers.

 

“Wiggins (George Mason Univ.) and Swanson (Univ. of New Mexico) have edited a 12-essay volume, written by recognized experts, about the segregated era in African American sports. The sections “Teams” and “Events” are probably too detailed, but the section on segregated black organizations is quite illuminating. The book argues that “separate games” were more than athletic competition, exemplifying black entrepreneurship and agency in a divided racist society. Black sportsmen and entrepreneurs tried to demonstrate to largely disinterested white sportsmen their athletes’ high skill levels. Separate sports programs, such as the Negro baseball leagues and historically black college and university conferences paralleled the organized white sports world, exemplifying “black self-help and organizational skills while at once engendering a sense of racial and community pride.” The book could be read in conjunction with the more biographical Before Jackie Robinson: The Transcendent Role of Black Sporting Pioneers (2017), edited by Gerald R. Gems. In addition to illustrations, the work under review includes endnotes.”

—S. A. Riess, Northeastern Illinois University, Choice, July 2017

Summing Up: Recommended. All readers.