Kaye, Andrew M.
Kaye, Andrew M.
Education: Earned Ph.D.
Writer, educator. Formerly taught at the University of Newcastle; Durham University, Durham, England, former lecturer in American history; freelance writer.
The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 2004.
Contributor to journals, including American Studies, Historical Journal, and Journal of Sport History.
Andrew M. Kaye has taught American history at the University of Newcastle and Durham University in England. He is currently a freelance writer living in London. His primary research interests are boxing and race, black leadership and the public sphere, and African American institutional networks. In 2004, Kaye published The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity.
In The Pussycat of Prizefighting, Kaye examines the life of the first black boxer to win the middleweight world championship. Theodore "Tiger" Flowers of Atlanta, Georgia, won the title in 1926. Kaye's account focuses on the popular reaction to a black boxing celebrity in the 1920s, relying on contemporary newspaper articles and firsthand accounts. He finds that the quiet, mild-mannered Flowers was seen as a nonthreatening role model by Southern whites. For blacks, he was a source of pride. Flowers, then, enjoyed respect from both races at a time when racial tensions were high. When he passed away during a surgery in 1927, Flowers was widely mourned. Some 75,000 blacks and whites filed past his coffin. "Kaye offers a well-conceived design of what the black athlete experience can tell us, particularly in terms of regional and national racial conventions," according to Amy Bass in the Journal of American History. Reviewing the title for Booklist, John Green concluded: "This textured portrayal of the Jim Crow South and one of its black heroes makes a significant contribution to the history of race relations." "Cogent and well-researched," wrote Daniel A. Nathan in the Journal of African American History, "Andrew M. Kaye's The Pussycat of Prize-fighting … is an engaging history." Gerald R. Butters, writing in the American Historical Review, concluded that "Kaye's book is a model of how successfully to use historical context in writing about a subject…. Using Flowers as a potent symbol, Kaye explores the racialized nature of boxing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, race relations and turn-of-the-century segregation, the ‘politics of black celebrity,’ and the ideologies of racial uplift."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Historical Review, December, 2006, Gerald R. Butters, review of The Pussycat of Prizefighting: Tiger Flowers and the Politics of Black Celebrity.
Booklist, February 15, 2004, John Green, review of The Pussycat of Prizefighting, p. 1030.
Journal of African American History, summer, 2006, Daniel A. Nathan, review of The Pussycat of Prizefighting, p. 351.
Journal of American History, September, 2005, Amy Bass, review of The Pussycat of Prizefighting.
Journal of Southern History, February, 2006, Bruce M. Tyler, review of The Pussycat of Prizefighting, p. 213.
Durham University Web site,http://www.dur.ac.uk/history/ (May 12, 2008), brief biography of Kaye.