Although long overdue and a catalyst to social change off the field, integration cost black and Caribbean societies control over their own sporting lives. It changed the meaning of sport and not always for the better. Raceball explores the oft-tortured relationship between Major League Baseball, black America, and the Caribbean before, during, and after MLB’s integration. By looking at this history from the vantage point of black America and the Caribbean, a different story comes into focus, one largely missing from traditional narratives of baseball’s history.
I began working on Raceball in 2008 after Allison Trzop, an editor at Beacon Press, suggested that I bring together the stories of black and Latin baseball. It draws on the work of a perceptive range of scholars and journalists writing about the Caribbean and African Americans as well my travels to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands, and most of all, the Dominican Republic.