Review of From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line

Sport in American History

Lamb, Chris, ed. From Jack Johnson to LeBron James: Sports, Media, and the Color Line. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2016. 648 pp. $35.00 paperback.

 Reviewed by Kate Aguilar

On January 7, 2016, ESPN radio host Dan Le Batard interviewed hip hop artist, author, and public speaker Chuck D, former leader of the rap group Public Enemy, about a Samsung commercial starring LeBron James. The commercial, which aired on ABC on Christmas Day, showcases James, Samsung Galaxy, and citizens of Cleveland hard at work. James and everyday employees pound the pavement while lip syncing the lyrics of “Welcome to the Terrordome” by Public Enemy. Le Batard admits to being surprised at the song choice and the choice of James for the ad, which he calls “the Blackest ad in the history of mainstream media”. James ends the commercial, in fact, pounding his chest while mouthing…

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