UK’s Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies presents symposium on Race and Sports

Symposium is set for Feb. 22

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Relations) During Black History Month, the University of Kentucky Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) will present a virtual symposium on the history of race and sports. Join three UK professors for their take on Black sports history in the Bluegrass and beyond. The symposium will take place at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 22, on Zoom.

This symposium is free and open to the public.

“Here at the University of Kentucky, we have developed a remarkable strength in research on the history of Black Americans in sport,” said Anastasia Curwood, director of CIBS and symposium presenter. “Our region has had an oversized influence on the history of sports in this country, from being the center of the nation’s most popular sport — horse racing — 100 years ago to our current prominence in basketball and football. All of those sports are inseparable from Black history, and this Black History Month we wanted to share discoveries that UK scholars have made on the topic.”

Presenters will include:

Anastasia C. Curwood

Curwood is associate professor of history, director of the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies, and director of African American and Africana Studies at UK. She is the author of the forthcoming, “Shirley Chisholm and Black Feminist Power Politics: A Biography.” A lifelong horsewoman, she is a researcher of the history of Black equestrians.

Marta N. Mack

Mack is a lecturer of sport leadership in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion in the UK College of Education. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. She situates her research at the intersection of the Critical Cultural Studies of Sport and Black Studies, which focuses on the experiences of Black women in sports. She is presently at work on the book, “Not Black, Not White, but Negro: Queen of the Negro Leagues Disrupts the American Mythology of Racial and Ethnic Belonging.” She tweets from @ProfessorTechie and @SportswomenNoir.

Derrick E. White

Derrick E. White is professor of history and associate director of African American and Africana Studies at UK. Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, he earned his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He is an editor on the University Press of Kentucky series “Race and Sports” with Gerald Smith. He is most recently the author of “Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Jake Gaither, Florida A&M, and the History of Black College Football” (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). He co-hosts “The Black Athlete Podcast” and tweets from @blackstar1906.

To register for the symposium, visit 

If you would like to get involved in the work of CIBS, please contact Contributions to CIBS are greatly appreciated and help further this vital research.

Throughout the month of February, the University of Kentucky is celebrating Black History Month with a series of events and programs for the campus community and the public. UK is also honoring its Black alumni who helped push the university forward and established important legacies for the university, community and nation.

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