African-American Sports Greats: A Biographical Dictionary

Front Cover
David L. Porter
Greenwood Press, 1995 - Sports & Recreation - 429 pages

African-American athletes have played a significant role in the development and popularity of American professional sports, and have encountered numerous obstacles on the road to athletic success. This is the first comprehensive multi-sport biographical dictionary of African Americans who reached the pinnacles of success in their sport. It contains more personal and career profiles of African-American sports greats than are found in any other single source. Biographical profiles of 166 noted athletes, coaches, and administrators in team and individual sports include both Ristorical figures such as Jesse Owens and Satchel Paige and contemporary stars such as Charles Barkley, Ken Griffey, Jr., Michael Jordan, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Shaquille O'Neal, and Emmitt Smith. Forty-four sports historians contributed the colorfully written biographies, which blend both personal background information and athletic career accomplishments. All information is current through the middle of 1995.

The dictionary covers the contributions made by African-American greats in football, baseball, basketball, track and field, boxing, wrestling, auto and stock car racing, golf, thoroughbred racing, tennis, cycling, and figure skating. More than two-thirds of the entries represent team sports. The dictionary is organized alphabetically by person. Each colorfully written profile is 800-1,000 words in length and traces the subject's personal life, family and educational background, personal struggles, career accomplishments, records set, statistical data, awards and honors, and overall impact; and features lively quotations by and about the sports luminaries. Each entry contains a handy bibliography of books and articles about the subject. Biographies of managers, coaches, and club executives describe their teams, statistical achievements, accomplishments, strategy, and sports impact. A general introduction traces the historic struggle of African-American athletes in professional and Olympic sports and appendices provide alphabetical listings of biographical entries and entries by sport. A selection of photos complement the profiles. For the sports fan or librarian, this is a first stop for biographical information that captures the personality of the athlete and includes all the pertinent information about his or her accomplishments. It is an essential addition to the reference sections of junior high, high school, and public libraries.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

African-American sports greats: a biographical dictionary

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

With a listing of 166 athletes representing 11 sports, this work is the most comprehensive reference of African American athletes currently available. Baseball, football, and basketball players ... Read full review


Alphabetical Listing of Entries with Sport
CrossReferences for Married Women Athletes

2 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

DAVID L. PORTER is Louis Tuttle Shangle Professor of History at William Penn College in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He is the editor of the Biographical Dictionary of American Sports, a multi-volume comprehensive reference work devoted to all major American sports. Volumes to date include Baseball (1987), Football (1987), Outdoor Sports (1988), Indoor Sports (1989), 1989-1992 Supplement For Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Other Sports (1992), 1992-1995 Supplement for Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Other Sports (1995). He is the author of The Seventy-Sixth Congress and World War II, 1939-1940 and Congress and the Waning of the New Deal, compiler of A Cumulative Index to the Biographical Dictionary of American Sports, and an associate editor of American National Biography.

Bibliographic information