four Duke women soccer players - three wearing Black Lives Matter shirts



Black in Blue: The Duke Sports and Race Project critically studies race and sports at Duke, within its geographic placement, and beyond. This faculty-led project has three pillars, with each examining the politics and histories of intercollegiate athletics and athletes, particularly in revenue-generating sports.

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Project Pillars

  • Public events/podcasts with researchers, activists, former and current athletes, and coaches
  • Undergraduate courses focused on race and sports
  • Workshops to engage in critical and constructive dialogue about experiences, and histories of Black student-athletes

Dawn Staley on Race, Equality and Advocating for Change

Dawn Staley with members of the Black in Blue team
Coach Dawn Staley (center with gray jacket) and members of the "Black in Blue: Duke Sports and Race Project"

As the youngest of five children, it’s safe to say that Dawn Staley grew up in a competitive environment. The three-time Olympic gold medalist, WNBA player and current head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s basketball team was raised in the north Philadelphia projects and has brought that competitiveness to everything she’s been a part of.

With Staley at the helm of the program, the Gamecocks have won five SEC regular season championships, six SEC tournament titles, three Final Fours, two NCAA National Championships, seven Sweet 16 appearances, five SEC player of the year awards and five SEC freshman of the year awards. Staley has also been named SEC coach of the year five times.

On Thursday night, at the most recent installment of the Black in Blue: Race in Sports series, Chair of Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies Jennifer Nash spoke with Staley about race in coaching, coaching philosophies and Brittney Griner.  Keep reading->

Featured Courses

FALL 2022
Sports and Society


illustration of gymnasts

This course will critically examine the role that sports play in the modern world and our everyday lives. Sports are a universe of their own, bodily practices that involve complex choreographies of movement and coordination. Yet they are also always a reflection of society... read more

FALL 2022
Deporte Negrx: The AfroLatinx
Sport Experience

AAAS 290-01

collage of three athletes

This course examines the Black Latin American and AfroLatinx sporting experience over time. Their hypervisibility has brought much prestige to their countries. However, their success on behalf of the nation doesn't equate to improved... read more

FALL 2022
Images of
Black Masculinity

AAAS 338-01

shirtless athlete with back to camera

The late Muhammad Ali may have been the most recognizable Black Man of the 20th Century, in no small part due to the fact that he was one of the most photographed sports figures of the 20th Century. Ali’s own investment in curating... read more

Student Projects

Noelle Fuchs, Matthew O’Stricker, Kendall Satcowitz, Lina Sinsheimer, Amber Smith
Grissim Anderson, Andrew Danowitz, Drew Greene, Justin Pickett
Blade Clarke, Justice Hatcher, Lucas Gonzalez, Elizabeth Balogun
Sammy Cohen, Ryan Colon, Amanda Tuzzo, Amanda Padden
Alexander McMullen, Koby Cohen, Eli Baker, Brandon Lee, Jonta Robertson
Jordan Laster, Shelsea Duran, Guillermo Zacarias Breuer, Lily Coll, Grant Farley
Sara Rovit, Jordyn Oliver, Elijah Wroten, Malik Bowen, Hayden Rosenfeld
Katie Newton, Brooke Schmidt, Aeneas Peebles, Amir Daley, Brendan Pernecky
Meredith Hutchinson, Hannah Steven, BJ Johnson, Mir Hagans, Chloe Schaefgen