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summary
After World War II, the United States used international sport to promote democratic values and its image of an ideal citizen. But African American women excelling in track and field upset such notions. Cat M. Ariail examines how athletes such as Alice Coachman, Mae Faggs, and Wilma Rudolph forced American sport cultures—both white and Black—to reckon with the athleticism of African American women. Marginalized still further in a low-profile sport, young Black women nonetheless bypassed barriers to represent their country. Their athletic success soon threatened postwar America's dominant ideas about race, gender, sexuality, and national identity. As Ariail shows, the wider culture defused these radical challenges by locking the athletes within roles that stressed conservative forms of femininity, blackness, and citizenship.

A rare exploration of African American women athletes and national identity, Passing the Baton reveals young Black women as active agents in the remaking of what it means to be American.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-11
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  1. 1. Raising the Bar: Alice Coachman and the Boundaries of Postwar American Identity, 1946-1948
  2. pp. 12-45
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  1. 2. Sprints of Citizenship: Identity Politics and Black Women's Athleticism, 1951-1952
  2. pp. 46-80
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  1. 3. Passing the Baton toward Belonging: Mae Faggs and the Making of the Americanness of Black American Track Women, 1954-1956
  2. pp. 81-114
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  1. 4. Winning as American Women: The Heteronormativity of Black Women Athletic Heroines, 1958-1960
  2. pp. 115-138
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  1. 5. "Olympian Quintessence": Wilma Rudolph, Athletic Femininity, and American Iconicity, 1960-1962
  2. pp. 139-164
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  1. Conclusion: The Precarity of the Baton Pass: Race, Gender, and the Enduring Barriers to American Belonging
  2. pp. 165-174
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 175-208
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 209-222
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 223-236
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  1. Back Cover
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