Famous Negro Athletes

Famous Negro Athletes - cover

Famous Negro Athletes

Submitter: I found this gem in the teen sports section of my local public library. I give them credit for including a woman. However, this screams “update me!”

Holly: Again, this belongs somewhere, but not in the teen section of your basic local public library. There are so many people missing from this volume! Also, this book pre-dates the deaths of these athletes. Only two are still alive at the time of this writing: Willie Mays and Jim Brown.


Famous Negro Athletes - contents

Famous Negro Athletes - Althea Gibson



  1. No argument with those the book does list, but a more up-to-date edition would have, for male basketballers alone, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Steph Curry, LeBron James etc etc etc … For tennis players, Arthur Ashe, Venus & Serena Williams, for all sports I could go on and on …

  2. And of course the updated edition would have to be called “Famous African-American Athletes” since “Negro” is at least horribly dated, if not as bad as That Other N-Bomb. (Also a lot of other countries, in and out of Africa, have world-class black athletes as well: better make that Famous Athletes of African Descent and that’ll cover most everywhere)

      1. Yeah, let’s include diver Sammy Lee, figure skater Michelle Kwan and basketballer Jeremy Lin for those of Asian descent, and for Native Americans multi-sport guy Jim Thorpe and distance runner Billy Mills. Afr-Ams are great and athletes of other colors deserve a shout-out too!

  3. Not likely to circulate in most collections, but Arna Bontemps is a big deal (he may have been the first African American to receive a Newbery Honor, in fact), so this has curricular relevance beyond the subject.

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