A rare exploration of African American women athletes and national identity, Passing the Baton reveals young Black women as active agents in the remaking of what it means to be American. 

University of Illinois Press – November 2020

Hi, I’m Cat Ariail, a historian of women’s sport. I study issues of race, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in modern women’s sport in the United States and Caribbean. My forthcoming book, Passing the Baton, examines how the athletic achievements of black American women track stars, beginning with Alice Coachman at the 1948 London Olympics to Wilma Rudolph at the 1960 Rome Olympics, contested the raced and gendered boundaries of ideal American identity during the Cold War and civil rights movement.

My next research project will explore the raced, gendered, and sexed meanings of women’s professional basketball in the contemporary United States.

I’m also a lecturer of history at Middle Tennessee State University.