|Author: Charles K. Ross|
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|"Informative . . . Ross has opened some important doors" American Historical Review "agrave; offers an interesting recitation of the on-again-off-againparticipation of blacks in the early years of pro football." --The Baltimore Sun"An important analysis for all who care about the African American experience in professional sports. Significant not only for the history it tells, but for the questions it raises about race relations in football as an industry and as a United States institution ." --Michael E. Lomax"Charles Ross' stellar research clearly demonstrates that the African American struggle for merit and equality not only extends to the playing field but has, in fact, long defined the game of professional football. A must read for students of the game, from casual gridiron enthusiasts to scholars alike." --C. Keith HarrisonOutside the Linestraces how sports laid a foundation for social change long before the judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration.Watching a football game on a Sunday evening, most sports fans do not realize the profound impact the National Football League had on the civil rights movement. Similarly, in a sport where seven out of ten players are black, few are fully aware of the history and contributions of their athletic forebears. Among the touchdowns and tackles lies a rich history of African American life and the struggle to achieve equal rights.Although the Supreme Court did not reverse their 1896 decision of "separate butequal" in thePlessy v Fergusoncase until more than fifty years later, sports laid a foundation for social change long before our judicial system formally recognized the inequalities of racial separation. Integrating sports teams to include white and black athletes alike, the National Football League served as a microcosmic fishbowl of the highs and lows, the trials and triumphs, of racial integration.In this chronicle of black NFL athletes, Charles K. Ross has given us the story of the Jackie Robinsons of American football.|