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Assignment: Answer the following prompt in a 2-3 page, double-spaced, 12-point font essay. Organize your essay into clear paragraphs with an introduction, body, and conclusion. The purpose of the assignment is for you to demonstrate your ability to critically examine the intersection between sports, race, and American culture.

For this particular essay on Curt Flood, students must demonstrate that they have read Gerald Early’s chapter, “Curt Flood, Gratitude, and the Image of Baseball.”


Professor Gerald Early wrote, “African Americans began to perceive sports quite differently in the 1960s, sensing in some way that sports simply replicated their relatively powerless political and social position in the larger society” (Early, “Curt Flood,” 80). How does the story of Curt Flood help us better understand why some black athletes viewed the labor conditions in professional sports as dehumanizing? Why did black athletes in the 1960s and 1970s reject the mythology of sports as the great meritocracy?

For quotations and paraphrasing, please cite the pages from Early’s essay using parenthetical references at the end of your sentences. For example, in your first citation paraphrasing or quoting the author, you will write (Early, “Curt Flood,” 70). For this essay, thereafter, you only have to cite the specific page number since you will only be writing using one source.


  • Your essay must be at least two pages long, but no longer than three pages.
  • Your essay must have a thesis statement. A thesis answers the question as specifically as possible.
  • Your introduction paragraph should provide the necessary and relevant background to lead into your argument.
  • Your essay should follow a logical path and have clear paragraphs with strong topic sentences.
  • Your essay must rely on evidence from the reading and lecture. A good essay offers specific examples to support general points.
  • Use quotes judiciously. Quotations can be effective, but overuse diminishes your authority.
  • Do not write sentences that start with “I” or “This essay will . . .” Instead, write in crisp, formal language.