Effa Manley’s hidden life

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-11-11 20:13Z by Steven

Effa Manley’s hidden life


Shakeia Taylor

The only woman in the National Baseball Hall of Fame had a fascinating — and confusing — past

She was sure and confident in everything she did. She was tall, smart, and intimidating, a shrewd businesswoman unafraid to speak her mind. For years I’d recognized Effa Manley for many things: her civil rights work, co-owning and managing a Negro League baseball team, her stint as Negro National League treasurer, her role in Larry Doby integrating Major League Baseball’s American League, and being the first African-American woman inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

But for everything Manley was, there is one thing she really wasn’t: Black.

“Everything in my life has been Black,” Manley told sportswriter Henry Hecht of the New York Post in 1975. For many years, that’s seemed like the last word on the matter. While I knew Manley was not the first woman to own a team — a distinction actually held by Olivia Taylor, who became the owner of the Indianapolis ABC Clowns after her husband C.I. Taylor died 1922 — I had always assumed she was African American. Her race, however, has been a source of quiet controversy for years, one of which I was unaware. It wasn’t until I started researching more into her life I found out perhaps Manley wasn’t exactly who she seemed…

Read the entire article here.

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Effa Manley

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2019-08-16 20:09Z by Steven

Effa Manley

Ebbets Field Flannels

Joe Swide

c. 1938. Wonderful image of Effa in a dress and wearing a Newark Eagles ball cap while being instructed on how to hold a bat by one of her players.

The most powerful woman in baseball

In the summer of 1947, the most powerful woman in baseball received a call from Bill Veeck, the owner of the Cleveland Indians. Veeck had spent the last five years scouting the Negro Leagues for the right ballplayer to integrate the American League and shortly after the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League had broken baseball’s color line by acquiring Jackie Robinson from the Kansas City Monarchs, Veeck set his eyes on Larry Doby of the Newark Eagles. However, whereas the Dodgers managed to acquire Robinson without paying a cent to the Monarchs, Veeck found himself in a very different sort of negotiation with the owner of the Eagles, Effa Manley.

Manley was born into a biracial family in Philadelphia in 1897. Her mother was a white seamstress who was married to a black man but had an affair with her white employer, leading many to believe that he was Manley’s biological father. In any case, Manley was raised in a predominantly black community with a biracial identity like that of her siblings, and her ability to pass as either black or white enabled her to navigate both sides of the country’s racial divide…

Read the entire article here.

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She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-21 01:56Z by Steven

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins)
32 pages
8.5 in (w) x 11 in (h) x 0.25 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780061349201
eBook ISBN: 9780062184801

Audrey Vernick

Illustrated by Don Tate

Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

From author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate comes the remarkable story of an all-star of a woman.

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Black like her: Is racial identity a state of mind?

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-01-19 20:13Z by Steven

Black like her: Is racial identity a state of mind?

The Washington Post

Amy Ellis Nutt, Reporter

While people continue to question the motivations behind former NAACP official Rachel Dolezal’s claiming she is black, scientists say identity, even racial identity, doesn’t arise from any single place in the brain.

Individuals contain different selves, often contradictory selves, according to neuroscientists. There is no clump of gray matter or nexus of electrical activity in the brain that we can point to and say, “this is me, this is where my self is located.” Instead, we are spread out over our brain, with different areas of cortex controlling different aspects of who we are, from what we see and hear to how we think and feel.

For instance, the medial prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain located just behind the forehead, is activated whenever we think about ourselves. But when we think about how someone else thinks about us — does my spouse think I’m pretty? — the medial prefrontal cortex disengages and the posterior part lights up. Culture and community, neuroscience tells us is, are important constituents of identity, which may explain why children understand social interactions before they even learn to talk. Identity, in other words, is complicated.

Carolyn Yoon, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, says she doesn’t “see what the big controversy is” regarding Dolezal’s claim to identify as a black person.

“That’s a reasonable view in my book,” Yoon said. “Identity is highly malleable and is a function of what she comes in contact with, what she spends her time doing, is interested in and motivated by. Over time that will change your brain.”…

…There is certainly historical precedence for passing as black. Effa Manley was born to Bertha Brooks, a white woman, in Philadelphia in 1900. Brooks was married to an African-American man and so Effa grew up with six biracial siblings. She, however, was the product of an affair her mother had with a white man. Although blonde-haired, hazel-eyed Effa believed she also was biracial until her teens when her mother told her the truth.

Nonetheless, Effa lived our her life as a black woman: she married an African American, lived in Harlem and became the well-known co-owner of a Negro League baseball team. She also belonged to the NAACP and the Urban League and was once profiled in Ebony magazine.

Whether it was her early life experiences, self-deception or mirror neurons — or all three — Effa Manley saw herself as a black woman, which is why she could muse to a reporter when she was in her 70s, “I’ve always wondered what it would be like to associate with white people.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Olbermann Ties Dolezal Race Manipulation to ‘Senseless’ Charleston Shooting

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos on 2016-01-19 18:57Z by Steven

Olbermann Ties Dolezal Race Manipulation to ‘Senseless’ Charleston Shooting

Breitbart News

Trent Baker, Sports Reporter

On Thursday’s “Olbermann” on ESPN2, host Keith Olbermann opened his show with a monologue speaking about former Spokane NAACP head Rachel Dolezal, deceased American sports executive and the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Effa Manley, who was white and identified as black after being raised by her black step-father, and the shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which he tied all of them together at the end.

“The Effa Manley story is not about passing, but both lives rise from curiosity and story telling when one remembers that biologists long ago concluded genetically there are no “races” just one species we call human beings. In the stories of both Rachel Dolezal and Effa Manley the importance and meaning we have given to skin pigmentation prove to be amazingly easy to manipulate, proved to be flexible, prove to be impermanent; prove to be remarkably inaccurate, all of which means the madness and nightmare and terrorism that unfolded last night at the church in South Carolina all of that was even more senseless.”…

Read the entire story and watch the video here.

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Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-19 16:25Z by Steven

Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Scarecrow Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
January 1998
298 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-57886-001-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4617-0708-0

James Overmyer, Member
Negro Leagues Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research

The first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, there was no one like Effa Manley in the sports world of the 1930s and 1940s. She was a sophisticated woman who owned a baseball team. She never shrank from going head to head with men, who dominated the ranks of sports executives and considered sports their exclusive domain. That her life story has remained unchronicled can only be attributed to one thing: her team, the Newark Eagles, belonged to the Negro Baseball League.

This book furthers a growing awareness of black baseball before integration and profiles many of the other highly-competitive owners in the Negro league. It also describes a thriving black community in Newark that took the Newark Eagles into their hearts, creating a fascinating relationship between a community and their sports team.

This book was the first to draw extensively on Eagle team records, left behind by Mrs. Manley when she left Newark in the 1950s, and rediscovered nearly intact thirty-five years later. The files are the most comprehensive source of information about the Newark Eagles. They reconstruct the relationship between the baseball team and the community to an extent never thought to be possible. Also included is material from Mrs. Manley’s scrapbook chronicling her days as a baseball owner and an active home front volunteer during World War II. Her scrapbook is now part of the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This important work shines the spotlight on a previously unsung segment of baseball history.

Originally published in cloth as Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles, No. 1 in the American Sports History Series.

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Penny Marshall Directing A Dennis Rodman Documentary + Effa Manley Project In Development

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Women on 2013-09-12 00:34Z by Steven

Penny Marshall Directing A Dennis Rodman Documentary + Effa Manley Project In Development

Shadow and Act: On Cinema of the African Diaspora

Courtney Singer

Lately, she has been working on a documentary about the basketball player Dennis Rodman, some of which she has been shooting via Skype. That came up because a) Ms. Marshall is a big sports fan. (“You can yell and scream at a game and no one’s taking you away in a white coat.”) And b) “I have a little radar to the insane,” she said. “They seek me out. Dennis and his agent asked if I would do a documentary.”

That was from a recent Wall Street Journal profile of actress/producer/director Penny Marshall, on account of the publication of her book My Mother Was Nuts.

I must admit that Penny Marshall’s name probably won’t be the first one I’d think of if I were to come up with a short list of directors for a Dennis Rodman documentary. But as the director of memorable films like Big, Awakenings, A League Of Their Own, The Preacher’s Wife (and several others) says of herself, she’s drawn to the *insane;* or rather, the *insane* are drawn to her – the supposition there being that Dennis Rodman is *insane.*…

But what I did find there was a project she has in development to direct titled Effa. I almost ignored it when I looked closer, and read the project’s synopsis which reads:

Effa Manley is a white woman “passing” as black during segregation. Outspoken, dynamic and beautiful, she crashes through barriers in the male-dominated world of sports as the first woman to own and manage a professional sports team.

The name didn’t immediately ring the bell, so I looked up Effa Manley to learn that she was also the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; She co-owned the Newark Eagles baseball franchise in the Negro leagues with her husband Abe Manley from 1935 to 1946, and was sole owner through 1948 after his death.

She was also active during the America civil rights movement and was a social activist. She died in 1981 at 84 years old.

It’s said that Manley’s racial background is not fully known. Her biological parents may have been white, but she was reportedly raised by her black stepfather and white mother, which lead to assumptions that her stepfather was her biological father and therefore many thought she was black—or at least, bi-racial.

This calls for further research…

Read the entire article here.

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She Just Loved Baseball

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2011-10-21 03:34Z by Steven

She Just Loved Baseball

Black Athlete Sports Network

Bill Carroll

NEW YORK—Effa Manley was seemingly yet another “lost” pioneer in Negro Leagues Baseball before being posthumously honored in 2006 with induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

She was part of a class of players and executives selected by a special committee chaired by former baseball commissioner Fay Vincent. But a plaque for the only woman inducted in the Hall of Fame barely touches the surface of an often controversial life.

Manley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Bertha Ford Brooks, was of German and East-Indian descent. Bertha, who was a seamstress, gave birth to Effa after becoming pregnant by her wealthy White employer, John M. Bishop.

Bertha’s husband, Benjamin Brooks, who was Black, sued Bishop and received a settlement of $10,000 before he and Bertha divorced.  Bertha later remarried, and Effa was raised in a household with a Black stepfather and Black half-siblings.

Inheriting somewhat dark skin from her mother, she chose to live as a Black person, leading most people to assume her stepfather was her biological father and to classify her as Black.

After graduation from high school in Philadelphia, she moved to New York to work in the millinery business. She met Abe Manley, an African-American man 24 years older than she, at the 1932 World Series at Yankee Stadium, where she had gone to see her favorite player, Babe Ruth

…The Newark Eagles were founded in 1936 when the Newark Dodgers merged with the Brooklyn Eagles. The Eagles sported the likes of Hall-of-Famers Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, Ray Dandridge, Leon Day, and Willie Wells.  The Eagles shared Ruppert Stadium with the Newark Bears, beginning in 1936…

…In addition to managing her baseball team, Manley was also a social activist for Civil rights. She organized a boycott of Harlem stores when they wouldn’t hire Black salesclerks. It took only six weeks for the stores to give in.

As a result, one year after the boycott, 300 stores employed Blacks. She held an “Anti-Lynching Day” at Ruppert Stadium and was treasurer for the Newark chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)…

Read the entire article here.

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First woman among 17 elected to baseball Hall

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2011-10-19 04:33Z by Steven

First woman among 17 elected to baseball Hall

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla.—Effa Manley became the first woman elected to the baseball Hall of Fame when the former Newark Eagles executive was among 17 people from the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues chosen Monday by a special committee.

“This is a historic day at the Hall of Fame,” shrine president Dale Petroskey said. “I hoped that someday there would be a woman in the Hall. It’s a pretty proud moment.”…

…Manley co-owned the New Jersey-based Eagles with her husband, Abe, and ran the business end of the team for more than a decade. The Eagles won the Negro Leagues World Series in 1946—one year before Jackie Robinson broke the major-league color barrier.

“She was very knowledgeable, a very handsome woman,” said Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, who played for the Eagles while the Manleys owned the team, as did Don Newcombe and Larry Doby.

“She did a lot for the Newark community. She was just a well-rounded, influential person,” Irvin said. “She tried to organize the owners to build their own parks and have a balanced schedule and to really improve the lot of the Negro League players.”

Manley was white but married a black man and passed as a black woman, said Larry Lester, a baseball author and member of the voting committee.

“She campaigned to get as much money as possible for these ballplayers, and rightfully so,” Lester said.

Manley used baseball to advance civil rights causes with events such as an Anti-Lynching Day at the ballpark. She died in 1981 at age 84.

“She was a pioneer in so many ways, in terms of integrating the team with the community,” said Leslie Heaphy, a Kent State professor on the committee. “She’s also one of the owners who pushed very hard to get recognition for Major League Baseball when they started to sign some of their players.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Author Talk and Book Signing: Bob Luke

Posted in History, Live Events, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2011-10-19 03:31Z by Steven

Author Talk and Book Signing: Bob Luke

National Portrait Gallery
Eighth and F Streets NW
Washington, D.C.
2011-10-19, 18:00-19:00 EDT (Local Time)

Bob Luke discusses and signs copies of The Most Famous Woman in Baseball: Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues. Manley’s life played out against the backdrop of the Jim Crow years, when discrimination forced most of Newark’s blacks to live in the Third Ward, where prostitution flourished, housing was among the nation’s worst, and only menial jobs were available. Manley and the Eagles gave African Americans a haven, Ruppert Stadium. She was a force of nature—and, as Bob Luke shows, one to be reckoned with. From 1936 to 1948, she ran the Negro league Newark Eagles, which her husband, Abe, owned for roughly a decade. Because of her business acumen, commitment to her players, and larger-than-life personality, she would leave an indelible mark not only on baseball but also on American history.

For more information, click here.

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