Memory and Legacy in Dorian Hairston’s “Pretend the Ball is Named Jim Crow”

Matthew Teutsch
5 min readMar 15, 2024

In his “Author’s Note” to Pretend the Ball is Named Jim Crow, Dorian Hairston details why he wrote a collection of poems about Josh Gibson and how baseball, with its “arbitrary yet clearly defined unwritten rules” mirrors society at large, especially in relation to issues of race, class, and gender. These “rules” organize the game, and they play a large role in…

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Matthew Teutsch

Here, you will find reflections on African American, American, and Southern Literature, American popular culture and politics, and pedagogy.