"A history of the game from the perspective of its development as a business during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, with much minute information on the financial side of early black baseball. He convincingly places the fledgling industry in the context of the emergence of a black middle class after the Civil War and black migration to the North. He shows how, given the relative poverty of blacks in Northern cities, the black game had to appeal at first to white audiences and often be run by white entrepreneurs. A constant theme is how black advancement was achieved through negotiated gains in which not a few concessions had to be made. But the central, most profound story is blacks' struggle to realize the most American of ideals, freedom and self-determination, in a hostile environment."—The New York Times
An account of the birth of black baseball and its dramatic passage from grass-roots venture to commercial enterprise. It assesses the impact of urbanization and migration, and applauds those innovators who forged black baseball into a parallel club that also appealed to whites.
Michael E. Lomax is associate professor of sport history in the Department of Health and Human Physiology at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1902-1931: The Negro National and Eastern Colored Leagues.
6 x 9, 272 pages