“Desegregation in baseball was hard on everybody.”  -Monte Irvin, Hall of Famer

An extraordinary history of the Negro Leagues and the economic disruptions of desegregating a sport

Roberta Newman and Joel Nathan Rosen examine how the relationship between black baseball and black businesses functioned, particularly in urban areas with significant African American populations.  Inextricably bound together by circumstance, these sports and business alliances faced destruction and upheaval.

Once Jackie Robinson and a select handful of black baseball’s elite gained acceptance in Major League Baseball and financial stability in the mainstream economy, shock waves traveled throughout the black business world.  Though the economic impact on Negro League baseball is perhaps obvious due to its demise, the impact on other black-owned businesses and on segregated neighborhoods is often undervalued if not outright ignored in current accounts.  We know about the great individual players who played in the Negro Leagues and integrated the Major Leagues.  But what happens when a community has its economic footing undermined while simultaneously being called upon to celebrate a larger social progress?

On a February evening in front of a standing-room-only crowd in the Clubhouse, Roberta Newman and Joel Nathan Rosen took us through Black Baseball, Black Business.  Pull up a chair and listen in...