Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of American Studies


Interdisciplinary Studies Department

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Rodolfo Aguilar

Second Advisor

Dr. Catherine Lewis


"Shut Up and Dribble: The Political Contradictions of Black Masculinity in Sports" is a comprehensive analysis of literature and case studies that explore the regulation and representation of the black masculine body within sports. This thesis investigates three primary themes—sport, protest, and black masculinity—and seeks to uncover the evolution of various black masculine figures and their endeavors toward racial inclusivity. By analyzing sports literature, this work examines the experiences of five significant black athletes, including Jack Johnson, Ron Artest, and Colin Kaepernick, to illustrate how sports environments police the black body. Additionally, this thesis emphasizes two archetypes of black masculinity: the "token child," seen as the idealized black citizen in American society, and the "outcast," who rebels against Western norms. Through these case studies, the research highlights the roles that these figures adopt in their protests against institutional racism. Ultimately, this thesis aims to reveal the mechanisms through which sports both enforce and challenge institutional racism within American society.