In honor of Black History Month and in the midst of the Winter Olympics, we revisit this episode on the "Black Athlete" that originally aired on July 6, 2020.
From Jack Johnson to Muhammed Ali, from Tommie Smith to Colin Kaepernick, Black athletes have played a huge role in the social and cultural history of the 20th and 21st centuries. Ben Carrington, sociologist at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, joins Then & Now to discuss the "racial project" of the Black Athlete. He observes how Black athletes have been fetishized, commodified, controlled, and celebrated, sometimes all at once. He compares the long history of this project to the present moment, when Black athletes, both at the professional and collegiate levels, are gaining greater agency over their lives and careers.