Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Diana Selig

Reader 2

Melissa Hidalgo

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© 2013 Peter Richman


This Senior Thesis in History analyzes a number of newspaper articles from the 1950s and 1960s in order to investigate a noticeable historiographical narrative on former Harlem Globetrotters’ owner Abe Saperstein. Three historiographical accounts present the debated dichotomy of Abe’s character as a patronizing, bigoted owner toward his black players and as a champion of blacks’ rights. This research inquires as to the extent to which 1950s and 1960s newspaper portrayals of Abe either support or oppose historiographical interpretations. The resultant analysis argues that while a large portion of 1950s and 1960s articles bolster the substantially negative modern interpretations of Abe’s character, a significant amount of the primary sources present the owner in a much more favorable manner.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.