In this essay, I reflect on my many years of researching and analyzing the interconnections among race, sport, and American culture. To some extent, it is a look back at my experiences as a white academic studying African American athletes and how they have navigated the racial lines in their efforts to become full participants in sport. The essay is also my assessment of the role of sport in African American communities and what part it has played in the larger civil rights struggle and quest for equal rights. Lastly, I share insights about my personal background and the trials and tribulations I have faced as a historian attempting to understand the complexities of race and how it has impacted sport and American society.

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