City Swim Meet, Chicago Defender, April 2, 1938.

current research

I am an interdisciplinary scholar of race, gender, youth, sports, health and outdoor recreation. My current project examines the history of Black girls in sports during the early to mid twentieth century. Other current projects include historical and contemporary representations of Black girl athletes in sport media and histories of African American youth in outdoor and environmental recreation. Previous research has explored the construction of the Black athlete in 1970s/1980s Black children’s media, feminist young adult literature of the 1970s, and Black girls’ historical relationship to informal and formal health education.


White, Samantha (Forthcoming) “Play Ball: Mo’ne Davis and the Visualization of Athletic Girlhood in Sports Illustrated” in Iconic Sports Photography (University of Texas Press) 

White, Samantha. (Forthcoming) “‘The Right Sort of Girl is a Tomboy:’ Representations of Black Athletic Girlhood in the Early 20th Century Black Press.” Journal of Sport History.  

White, Samantha. (In Progress) “Her Girlhood Dream Realized: Camp Merriam and Histories of Black Girls’ Environmental Health and Wellness” in Cleveland Sports (University of Arkansas Press). 

White, Samantha. “Black Girls Swim: Race, Gender, and Embodied Aquatic Histories” in Girlhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, (2021)

White, Samantha “Ebony Jr! and the Black Athlete: Meritocracy, Sport, and African-American Children’s Media,” Journal of Sport History, (2020)

White, Samantha. “A Means to an End: Teaching Masculinity through Sport Literature,” Aethlon: Journal of Sport Literature, (2020).

White, Samantha “Sport,” SAGE Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood Studies, (2020).

White, Samantha. “Negotiating Female Athletic Identity Through the Works of R.R. Knudson,” Aethlon: Journal of Sport Literature, (2017).