Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line

Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line

by Emily Ruth Rutter

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Overview

Winner of the 2018 John Coates Next Generation Award from the Negro Leagues Research Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research

Although many Americans think of Jackie Robinson when considering the story of segregation in baseball, a long history of tragedies and triumphs precede Robinson’s momentous debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. From the pioneering Cuban Giants (1885-1915) to the Negro Leagues (1920-1960), Black baseball was a long-standing staple of African American communities. While many of its artifacts and statistics are lost, Black baseball figured vibrantly in films, novels, plays, and poems. In Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line, author Emily Ruth Rutter examines wide-ranging representations of this history by William Brashler, Jerome Charyn, August Wilson, Gloria Naylor, Harmony Holiday, Kevin King, Kadir Nelson, and Denzel Washington, among others.

Reading representations across the literary color line, Rutter opens a propitious space for exploring Black cultural pride and residual frustrations with racial hypocrisies on the one hand and the benefits and limitations of white empathy on the other. Exploring these topics is necessary to the project of enriching the archives of segregated baseball in particular and African American cultural history more generally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496817136
Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
Publication date: 04/30/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,060,703
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Emily Ruth Rutter is associate professor of English at Ball State University. She is author of The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry. Along with Tiffany Austin, Sequoia Maner, and darlene anita scott, she coedited Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era. Her numerous essays have appeared in A History of Twentieth-Century American Women's Poetry, African American Review, MELUS, and Aethlon, among other journals and edited collections.

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