Gregory J. Kaliss, "Beyond the Black Power Salute: Athlete Activism in an Era of Change" (U Illinois Press, 2023)


Unequal opportunity sparked Jim Brown's endeavors to encourage Black development while Billie Jean King fought so that women tennis players could earn more money and enjoy greater freedom. Gregory J. Kaliss examines these events and others 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 ABA influenced the development of hip-hop. In Beyond the Black Power Salute: Athlete Activism in an Era of Change (University of Illinois Press, 2023), Kaliss describes the breakthroughs achieved by these athletes, while also exploring the barriers that remained--and in some cases remain today.

Bennett Koerber is an instructor of history at Carnegie Mellon University. He can be reached at

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Bennett Koerber

Bennett Koerber graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2022 after completing his dissertation - "Liberal Arts Football: Athletics, Academics, and American Higher Education, 1906-1948”. He is currently a senior research associate with Taylor Research Group, a litigation and environmental research company. He can be reached at

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