Date of Degree
Access restricted until 01/31/2020
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Health and Sport Studies
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Whaley, Deborah E
Imagine for a moment waking up one morning to find that what or with whom you had come to identify racially was built on a foundation of ambiguities, silences, deceptions and sacred secrets. This scenario offers snapshot of Effa Louisa Brooks Manley’s life on the color line. Manley, former co-owner of the Negro League Baseball franchise (1935-1948), the Newark Eagles, disrupts American notions about what it means to be Black or white. A white mother and two black stepfathers raised her with her siblings as a Negro. However, it was not until Manley was a teenager that her mother revealed to her that her biological father also racially identified as white. This study examines the way Effa Manley performed identity at the boundaries of blackness and whiteness from the turn of the 20th century through 1945. I argue that Manley was more than a white woman who simply passed for Black. She reconciled being Black and becoming white, by exploiting the American mythology of race and culturally identified as a Negro. I explore how her self-identification complicates racial and ethnic belonging, by analyzing the identity choices she made while traversing the fault lines of race in her early life as well as the way she performed identity in the interviews she gave before her death in 1981.
African American, Identity, Passing, Race, Sport History, Women in Sport
x, 191 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 187-191).
Copyright © 2015 Marta Notai Mack-Washington
Mack-Washington, Marta Notai. "From both sides of the plate : Negro league baseball's Effa Manley disrupts the American mythology of race and ethnicity, 1897-1948." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2015.