"The Black Athlete" SI Cover July 1, 1968

SI Black Athlete Cover.jpg

Dublin Core


"The Black Athlete" SI Cover July 1, 1968


Expose , Cover Story


This SI cover page features art depicting a young black man running towards a hurdle that resembles a road blockade. The background is a close-up of the man's face, his obstacle reflected in dark black sunglasses. The title reads "The Black Athlete--A Shameful Story," promising the reader a feature that will illuminate and contextualize the cover art.

The artwork itself is telling of the largely abstract image of the "black athlete" that Olsen portrays for a white audience. The image is a drawing, a contrived figure with a blank, white uniform and eyes shielded by sunglasses, showing neither allegiance nor malice. This artwork is meant to capture the general spirit of the piece, and speak to the specific stories of Elvin Hayes, Bill Russel, and other specific black athletes that are given detailed attention in the piece. While the image works to encapsulate a type of individual, and broaden the meaning of the piece, it also obscures the lived experience and oppression of the "black athletes" that Olsen attempts to advocate for.


Katherine Brown


Sports Illustrated. July 1, 1968.


cover page


Katherine Brown, “"The Black Athlete" SI Cover July 1, 1968,” Magazines, accessed August 7, 2022, https://omeka.middlebury.edu/magazines/items/show/16.

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