This paper examines the relationship between race and sport in African American children's media in the publication Ebony Jr! (1973–85). Through sport, Ebony Jr! promoted an ideology of meritocracy and heralded the values of hard work and selfdetermination, the importance of the family unit, and investment in middle class leisure practices. While these values were present in Ebony, content in the magazine for adults also addressed issues plaguing African American athletes, such as discrimination and the discourse of essentialized racism. Ebony Jr! primarily erased narratives of oppression within profiles of athletes and crafted childhood as a protected space by imagining sport as a meritocratic space for black-child readers. I argue for the importance of including childhood and youth studies perspectives within the field of sport history and examine children's media as valuable texts for understanding the transmission of ideologies regarding race and sport.


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pp. 128-142
Launched on MUSE
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