For 100 years, African Americans were barred from playing in the premier baseball leagues of the United States—where only Caucasians were allowed. Talented black athletes until the 1950s were largely limited to only playing in Negro leagues, or possibly playing against white teams in exhibition, post-season play, or barnstorming contests—if it was deemed profitable for the white hosts. Even so, the people and events of Jim Crow baseball had incredible beauty, richness, and quality of play and character. The deep significance of Negro baseball leagues in establishing the texture of American history is an experience that cannot be allowed to slip away and be forgotten.
This book takes readers from the origins of African Americans playing the American game of baseball on southern plantations in the pre-Civil War era through Black baseball and America’s long era of Jim Crow segregation to the significance of Black baseball within our modern-day, post-Civil Rights Movement perspective.
- Presents a wide variety of original materials, documents, and historic images, including a never before published certificate making Frederick Douglass an honorary member of an early Black baseball team and author-conducted personal interviews
- Chronological chapter organization clearly portrays the development of Black baseball in America over a century's time
- Contains a unique collection of period photographs depicting the people and sites of Black baseball
- A topical bibliography points readers towards literature of Black baseball and related topics