Essay On African American Sports Culture

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AP US History Research Paper

What is the history of sports in America and how has it impacted American culture? Additionally, how does American sports culture compare to global sports culture?


Anthoney Kalasho
Period 5 Sports have been around in America since the country was founded. Over time the culture surrounding sports has evolved from them being seen as just games to them being one of the most popular aspects of our culture. As popular as they have become, sports in America are still mainly just a source of entertainment, contrasting the rest of the world where sports have much more meaning.

Since the Europeans set foot on North American soil, sports have been a part of the culture. The earliest form of sports present in the colonies was horse racing, which first made its appearance in 1665 with the construction of
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For starters, sports in early American history were almost completely amateur, meaning that the athletes were not paid and most likely had jobs, participating in sports as a hobby. The first major sports league that actually paid athletes was the National Association of Professional Baseball Players, founded in 1871 (citation). Another aspect of culture surround sports that is not present today is the presence of segregation in sports. Despite slavery being made illegal in 1863 (citation), African-Americans in America were still very heavily discriminated against. African-American baseball players were not allowed to play alongside whites and they were left with no other option but to create their own league, and thus in 1920 the Negro National League was formed (citation). This trend of segregation in American sports continued until 1947 when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American player in a white-league (citation). A major piece of
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