Dec 05

The Black Athlete in the Freedom Struggle


Black athletes have long propelled the quest for racial equality and social justice; and long been criticized for their freedom fighting. Join Louis Moore, Wyomia Tyus, and Dave Zirin to look at a half century of black male and female athletes in the freedom struggle.


  • Louis Moore

    Grand Valley State University

    Louis Moore is Associate Professor of History at Grand Valley State University. He teaches courses in African American History, Sports History, and Gender History. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Davis in 2008. His books include I Fight for a Living: Boxing and the Battle for Black Manhood, 1880-1915 and We Will Win the Day: The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Athlete, and the Quest for Equality.

  • Wyomia Tyus

    Olympic Athlete

    In 1968, Wyomia Tyus became the first person ever to win gold medals in the 100-meter sprint in two consecutive Olympic Games, a feat that would not be repeated for twenty years or exceeded for almost fifty. Her memoir, Tigerbelle: The Wyomia Tyus Story chronicles her journey from her childhood as the daughter of a tenant dairy farmer through her Olympic triumphs to her post-competition struggles to make a way for herself and other female athletes.

    Tigerbelle helps to fill the gap currently occupying Black women’s place in American history, providing insight not only on what it takes to be a champion but also on what it means to stake out an identity in an often hostile world. Tyus’s exciting and uplifting story offers inspiration to readers from all walks of life.

  • Dave Zirin

    Sports Editor, ​The Nation

    Named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World”, Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports for The Nation magazine. He is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Winner of Sport in Society and Northeastern University School of Journalism's 'Excellence in Sports Journalism' Award, Zirin is also the host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. He has been called “the best sportswriter in the United States,” by Robert Lipsyte. Dave Zirin is, in addition, a columnist for SLAM Magazine and The Progressive.

    Zirin's most recent book, written with Super Bowl Champion Michael Bennett, is Things that Make White People Uncomfortable (Haymarket Books, 2018). He is also the author of Jim Brown: Last Man Standing (Blue Rider Press, 2018), and the co-author of the NAACP Image Award nominated The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World (Haymarket Books, 2011). Zirin wrote A People's History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play, as part of Howard Zinn’s People’s History Series for the New Press (2009). A People’s History of Sports forms the basis of a documentary co-written and narrated by Zirin called Not Just a Game: Power, Politics, and American Sports, produced by the Media Education Foundation. In addition to many other titles, he has written Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports (Haymarket Books, 2007), with a foreword by the immortal Chuck D. His first book was What's My Name Fool: Sports and Resistance in the United States (Haymarket Books, 2005).

    Zirin has brought his blend of sports and politics to multiple television programs including NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, among numerous national radio programs from sports radio to National Public Radio’s Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, and All Things Considered. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Vibe Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, New York Newsday, the Baltimore Sun, the Pittsburgh Courier, The Source, and numerous other publications.



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