The legend of Texas Western: journalism and the epic sports spectacle that wasn’t

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1 Scopus citations


This essay interrogates journalistic accounts of Texas Western College’s 1966 college basketball championship, a game in which an all-Black team defeated an all-White team. The analysis traces the evolving portrayals of the game over 45 years. In 1966 American journalists did not emphasize the racial aspects of the game and it was largely forgotten. Twenty-five years later, however, journalists reconstructed the game as a racialized legend, and this account evolved into an epic American narrative. The author argues that the epic portrayals, although aesthetically appealing, reflect problems with accuracy, appropriation, and commercial exploitation. The latter factor led to the legend’s motion picture adaptation as part of a troublesome “White Savior” cinema genre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Studies in Media Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 National Communication Association.


  • Journalistic legends
  • media spectacles
  • social memory
  • sports and race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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