Paperback / softback
November 16, 2021
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v2.1 Reference

We Will Win The Day

The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality

By Louis Moore
Illustrated by Brett Colley
In this exceedingly timely book, Louis Moore looks at the history of Black activist athletes and the important role of the Black community in insisting that the concept of fair play should apply not only to sports but to all segments of society. Arranged thematically, the book details Jackie Robinson's entry into baseball in 1945, when he signed with the Dodgers, and includes the revolt of Black athletes in the late 1960s, symbolized by Tommie Smith and John Carlos famously raising their clenched fists during a medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics. Accounts from the Black press and the athletes themselves help illustrate the role Black athletes played in the civil rights movement. At the same time, the book also examines how the Black public viewed sports and the contributions of Black athletes during these tumultuous decades, showing how a shared belief in merit and democracycombined with Black athletic successinfluenced the push for civil rights.

By examining the connections between sports, Black athletes, and the civil rights movement, We Will Win the Day puts the athletes and their stories into the proper context. Rather than romanticizing these men and women and their experiences, it uses the roles they playedor chose not to playto illuminate the complexities and nuances in the relationship between Black athletes and the fight for racial equality.

About the Authors

Louis Moore is associate professor of history at Grand Valley State University, where he teaches African American history, civil rights, sports, and US history. His research and writing examine the interconnection of race, gender, and sports. Moore's other works include I Fight for a Living, a book about boxing, black manhood, and race in America from 1880 to 1915.


"The most important, revelatory book at the intersection of sports and politics that I've read in years. I learned so much. If you think you know the entirety of this history, please trust me: you do not."—Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation and author of The Kaepernick Effect

"In this fine book, historian Moore (GVSU) explores the political (and politicized) role of the black athlete in the civil rights era from the end of WWII to the present day. Rather than trying to provide a comprehensive history, in this short, crisply written book, the author utilizes a wide array of examples that illustrate his main themes of how black athletes, their white allies, and figures such as journalists in the country's African American press fought racism in their sports and increasingly in US society at large. In addition to the famous names of activist black athletes, Moore also uncovers a number of more obscure but equally important stories. By restoring the role of the black press and taking an appropriately critical approach to many white "allies" whose roles could sometimes be overstated, the author makes an especially vital contribution to understanding the ways race, sport, and politics intersected and are certain to continue to do so. This fine work of scholarship will work well in a wide range of college and graduate courses on sports, civil rights, and 20th century US history more broadly. Highly recommended."—Choice

"Having been a sports fan throughout my life, I never before fully realized the connection between sports and the Civil Rights Movement. That has been changed due to my reading of the newly released We Will Win the Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality by Louis Moore, a professor of history. . . . If you are a sports fan and are interested in reading about how sports was a major catalyst for the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements, I highly recommend this book."—David Turnoy, Orcas Issues

"An excellent and timely synthesis of the experiences and activism of black athletes in the era of the Civil Rights Movement. By training his focus on the role of the black press, moreover, Moore presents a compelling argument about the influence that sports and journalists have played in challenging and reshaping American society. . . . It is a reminder

of the long and important history of black American athletes using their platforms and influence to confront racism, even when doing so meant catching the ire of ignorant white Americans who only want their athletes to 'shut up and dribble'. . . . Moore's attention to the experiences of African Americans—men and women alike—in the less visible corners of the sports world is the greatest attribute in this excellent overall book. And his analysis of African American journalists and news outlets from this era is really the mortar to his story. . . . Moore's book has enormous value to anyone interested in, studying, or teaching the intersection of sports, civil rights, and politics in the United States. Truth be told, it should be required reading for anyone flippant and incurious enough to dismiss the activism of black athletes today as unpatriotic or interfering with the escapist qualities that sports offer to fans. As Moore shows, activism and politics have been one of the most important aspects of American sports since the mid-twentieth century. To pretend otherwise, or to expect something different, in today's world is proof of historical ignorance and a depressingly provincial world view."—Daniel DuBois, The International Journal of the History of Sport

9780813153803 : we-will-win-the-day-moore-colley
Paperback / softback
November 16, 2021
$24.95 USD

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