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CAS 497 - Race and Sport

Professor: Abraham Khan

This course considers the contributions of athletes to the tradition of protest speech in the United States. Our impression of the history of sport is saturated with images of athletes doing socially significant things; similarly, our impression of the history of social justice sometimes contains images of athletes. With an eye toward both 20th Century history and the contemporary era, we will examine individuals such as Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billie Jean King, Serena Williams, and Richard Sherman in order we will explore the ways that athletes have influenced the language of struggle for social justice. 

Course Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with sport’s importance to the history of American political culture.
  • Students will interpret the public address of athletes who have spoken in support of social justice.
  • Students will acquire the historical and theoretical resources necessary to evaluate the extent to which sport contributes to contemporary political struggles. 

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