Iowa Colloquium on Sport and Culture: “Black Feminism and Sports”

Speaker: Letisha Engracia Cardoso Brown (University of Cincinnati)

…Race and gender are firecrackers that ignite America’s social conscience, rattle the cages that bind us—cages that block our passage to equality. It’s a double whammy for African American female athletes since we aren’t the dominant norm—we’re not white. Race and racism loom large and throw a level athletic playing field off-kilter. -Ruth L. Hall

In this presentation on Black feminism and sports, Brown aims to unpack the intersecting nature of race and gender upon the lived realities of Black women and girls in sports. Drawing primarily from her forthcoming book Say Her Name: Centering Black Feminism and Black Women in Sports, this talk is designed to make you consider deeply the ways in which Black women and girls experience sport as an institution. Specifically, this talk will begin with a discussion of the need of a Black feminist perspective in sports studies, then highlight specific areas of interest including the racialization of gender in sports, athlete activism and the role of Black women and girls, as well the politics of Black hair in sports. Brown's aim in this talk is to give a sample of the work addressed in her forthcoming book, as well as to highlight the existing Black feminist scholarship in the field. Black feminists, within the scope of sociology and other social science and humanities fields, are often regulated to the margins of discussion. This talk is meant to bring Black feminist scholars work, and the lived realities of Black women and girls in sports to the center of discussion. Black feminism is part of the future of sports studies broadly, this presentation is designed to whet the appetite of all who attend.

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