For many, the Superbowl is a time of admirable athleticism, commercials rivaling cinema megaproductions, and elaborate snack food arrangements. In some special cases, it’s even a time of adorable puppies. Just look at those mugs!

But the Superbowl is also an opportunity to recognize the NFL’s important contributions to the civil rights movement, as the integration of African American players into the League only cemented the foundation for the widespread social change that was to follow. Charles K. Ross explores these developments and the histories of the NFL’s early African American players in Outside the Lines, published by (yours truly!) NYU Press. With both the Superbowl and Black History Month on the horizon, there couldn’t be a better time to check out this fascinating book!


(Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to curl up in an armchair, turn on the Puppy Bowl, and do some reading.)