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Ku Klux KultureAmerica and the Klan in the 1920s$
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Felix Harcourt

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376158

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226376295.001.0001

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Invisible Umpires

Invisible Umpires

(p.160) 9 Invisible Umpires
Ku Klux Kulture

Felix Harcourt

University of Chicago Press

This chapter looks at the place of the Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s in sports history, and particularly the relationship between the Klan and the development of interracial sport, whether in boxing, amateur basketball, or sandlot baseball. The chapter argues that Klannish involvement in sporting events was a natural part of contemporary enthusiasm for amateur athletics, but that it was also a tool of cultural legitimization. Like many other groups, the Klan turned to sport as a means of proving its 100% American bona fides. The many semipro baseball teams that Klan members fielded demonstrate that the movement was not restricted to the shadows. The supposedly secret society thrived in the spotlight.

Keywords:   Ku Klux Klan, sports history, cultural legitimization, amateur basketball, sandlot baseball, semipro baseball, interracial sport, secret society, boxing

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