This week it’s the history of black college basketball in the twentieth century with Raja Rahim, who is currently researching a PhD at the University of Florida. Her study focuses on the way in which participation in basketball gave agency to young African American men and women by using allow them to use the structure of sports organisation and participation to express themselves in the public sphere.
It’s a ground-breaking piece of work which traces the development of black coaches under the pioneering basketball coach John B. McLendon, who was the first African American head coach in any professional sport. Raja talks about the first inter-collegiate black basketball game in 1912 and traces the development of college sports through the twentieth century and the way in which basketball operated as a significant field in the struggle for civil rights.
Raja Rahim is Marilyn Yarbrough Fellow at Kenyon College and a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Florida. A native of Richmond, Virginia, she is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in History. As a United States historian, her research and pedagogy focuses include African American history, gender studies, sports history, oral history and digital humanities. Rahim’s current research examines the political, cultural, and social worlds of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Twitter: @RajaMalikahR
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).