GVSU professor illuminates the complexities of race and sports in new book
We Will Win The Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality is the first in a new series of books about Race and Sports and addresses the complexities and nuances in the relationship between Black athletes and the fight for racial equality.
Racism can be felt through many American past times, including sports. Louis Moore, a history professor at Grand Valley State University, is highlighting the complexities Black Americans face in athletics in his new book series.
We Will Win The Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality is the first work to be published in a series addressing race and sports by the University Press of Kentucky. The book looks at realities of the past as well as their impacts on race, equity and athletics in the present day.
Moore said a key area of focus is the importance of integrated sports following World War II.
"It’s not as big as like the sit ins, or freedom rides or what happens in Birmingham, but it’s the first real tangible thing, visual thing that American could see post World War II. Sports become that area where you can celebrate these small victories," Moore said, "Americans are looking at this and saying, 'wait a minute if they can celebrate Jackie Robinson, then they can treat me like this too.'"
The work chronicles the hesitance of many White communities regarding integration and discusses the complexities for many athletes of color as activists.
"It’s really about what’s going on last year and how these athletes are using their position to get folks to vote," Moore explained,"...How do we celebrate these people as athletes and everyone cheers, but at the same time people tell them to shut up and dribble?"
Moore says he hopes the book and series will give readers a new level of understanding to the dynamics of athletics, equity and activism today.
“Here’s an opportunity to about how far America has come but also how much work we have to do through the lens of sports, something so popular that everyone understands but sometimes aren't willing to have those tough conversations," Moore said.