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Book by York College of PA History Prof Earns Award from North American Society for Sport History

May 29, 2024
A book cover for Beyond the Black Power Salute: Athlete Activism in an Era of Change by Gregory J. Kaliss shows archival black and white photos of athletes and protesters.

A book by York College of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor of History Greg Kaliss, “Beyond the Black Power Salute: Athlete Activism in an Era of Change,” has been recognized by the North American Society for Sport History (NASSH).

NASSH presents two book awards each year to promote and honor outstanding research and writing in the field of sport history. Awards are made for distinguished books written in English on any subject of sport history, without chronological or geographical restriction. Kaliss’ book was recognized in the Monograph category, which includes biographies, monographs, and works of synthesis and interpretation.

“Beyond the Black Power Salute” (2023, University of Illinois Press) tells how a generation of athletes – including Jim Brown and Billie Jean King – changed the games and laid the groundwork for the activism roiling today’s sport world. Kaliss examines events to guide readers through the unprecedented wave of protest that swept sports in the 1960s and 1970s. 

The little-known story of the University of Wyoming football players suspended for their activism highlights an analysis of protests by college athletes. The 1971 Muhammad Ali–Joe Frazier clash provides a high-profile example of the Black male athlete’s effort to redefine Black masculinity. An in-depth look at the American Basketball Association reveals a league that put Black culture front and center with its style of play and shows how the Association influenced the development of hip-hop. As Kaliss describes the breakthroughs achieved by these athletes, he also explores the barriers that remained, and in some cases, remain today.

Kaliss is also author of “Men’s College Athletics and the Politics of Racial Equality: Five Pioneer Stories of Black Manliness, White Citizenship, and American Democracy.”