Moments of Impact

Injury, Racialized Memory, and Reconciliation in College Football

Schultz, Jaime
Jaime Schultz

University of Nebraska (publisher)

In the first half of the twentieth century, Jack Trice, Ozzie Simmons, and Johnny Bright played college football for three Iowa institutions: Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and Drake University, respectively. At a time when the overwhelming majority of their opponents and teammates were white, the three men, all African American, sustained serious injuries on the gridiron, either because of their talents, their race, or, most likely, because of an ugly combination of the two. Moments of Impact tells their stories and examines how the local communities of which they were once a part have forgotten and remembered those assaults over time. Of particular interest are the ways those memories have manifested in a number of commemorations, including a stadium name, a trophy, and the dedication of a football field. Jaime Schultz focuses on the historical and racial circumstances of the careers of Trice, Simmons, and Bright as well as the processes and politics of cultural memory. Schultz develops the concept of “racialized memory”—a communal form of remembering imbued with racial significance—to suggest that the racial politics of contemporary America have engendered a need to redress historical wrongs, congratulate Americans on the ostensible racial progress they have made, and divert attention from the unrelenting persistence of structural and ideological racism.

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