Alumna Lansbury Publishes Book on Black Women Athletes

Alumna Lansbury Publishes Book on Black Women Athletes

Jennifer Lansbury (PhD 2008) has published A Spectacular Leap: Black Women Athletes in Twentieth-Century America.

Her publisher, the University of Arkansas Press, explains, "Through the stories of six athletes—Coachman, Ora Washington, Althea Gibson, Wilma Rudloph, Wyomia Tyus, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee—Jennifer H. Lansbury deftly follows the emergence of black women athletes from the African American community; their confrontations with contemporary attitudes of race, class, and gender; and their encounters with the civil rights movement. Uncovering the various strategies the athletes use to beat back stereotypes, Lansbury explores the fullness of African American women’s relationship with sport in the twentieth century."

The book is based on Lansbury's dissertation, which she wrote under the supervision of Professor Suzanne Smith. Professor Michael O’Malley of the department and Professor David Wiggins of Recreation, Health & Tourism also served on the dissertation committee.

Lansbury previously taught history at Mason and directed the minor in sport and American culture.