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Athletics at Carlisle

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“The Indian boy takes as naturally to running and whooping and handsprings and marbles and swimming as his white cousin and the Indian girl is just like her white cousin in the yearning for dolls and long dresses and bows in her hair and high heels on her shoes The Indian boys take to baseball quite as naturally as the white boys and the Indian girls take as kindly as the white girls to sitting in the grandstand and cheering their side on to victory.”

The baseball team at Carlisle was one of many athletic pastimes offered to students in their free time. Sports offered a space in which Indian boys could exercise their new All-American identities. America’s pastime may have offered students a glimpse of social equality on the field, but the highly gendered language of this author in The Red Man is a reminder that while some racial boundaries could be stretched, other hierarchies were very much enforced.