Negro Leagues Baseball
by Roger Bruns
April 2012, 190pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38648-0
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38649-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Today, African American athletes play an integral part in almost all professional organized sports—so much so that it may be hard for modern sports fans to imagine it any other way. Until the late 1940s, however, societal norms regarding race mandated that only Caucasians could play in the “regular” minor and major professional baseball leagues in America—hence the existence of Negro Leagues.

This book traces the entire story of black baseball, documenting the growth of the Negro Leagues at a time when segregation dictated that the major leagues were strictly white, and explaining how the drive to integrate the sport was a pivotal part of the American civil rights movement.

Part of Greenwood’s Landmarks of the American Mosaic series, this work is a one-stop introduction to the subject of Negro League baseball that spotlights the achievements and experiences of black ball players during the time of segregation—ones that must not be allowed to fade into obscurity. Telling far more than a story about sports that includes engaging tales of star athletes like “Satchel” Paige and “Cool Papa” Bell, Negro Leagues Baseball documents an essential chapter of American history rooted in the fight for civil rights and human dignity and the battle against racism and bigotry.

The book comprises an introduction, chronology, and narrative chapters, as well as biographical profiles, primary documents, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. The recounting of individual stories and historical events will fascinate general readers, while rarely used documentary material places the subject of Negro League baseball in relation to civil rights issues, making the book invaluable to students of American social history and culture.


  • A historical timeline of events
  • Biographical profiles of important figures in Negro Leagues baseball
Roger Bruns is a historian and former deputy executive director of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives in Washington, DC. His many published works include Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers Movement; Icons of Latino America: Latino Contributions to American Culture; Preacher: Billy Sunday and Big-Time American Evangelism; and Almost History: Close Calls, Plan B's, and Twists of Fate in America's Past. Bruns has written several biographies for young readers of such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., John Wesley Powell, and Thomas Jefferson.
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