Harry Edwards (sociologist)

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Harry Edwards
Harry Edwards 13623-149.jpg
Born (1942-11-22) November 22, 1942 (age 73)
East St. Louis, Illinois (some sources say St. Louis, Missouri.)
Residence Fremont, California
Fields Sociology
Institutions University of California, Berkeley
Alma mater Fresno City College, attended
San Jose State University, B.A. 1964
Cornell University, M.A. 1966, Ph.D. 1972
Notable awards Woodrow Wilson Fellowship
Spouse Sandra Y. Boze (a teacher), m. August 25, 1970

Harry Edwards (born November 22, 1942) is an African-American sociologist who took his PhD at Cornell University and is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.


Edwards' career has focused on the experiences of African-American athletes and he is a strong advocate of black participation in the management of professional sports. He has served as a staff consultant to the San Francisco 49ers football team and to the Golden State Warriors basketball team. He has also been involved in recruiting black talent for front-office positions in major league baseball.

Author of The Revolt of the Black Athlete, Edwards was the architect of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, which led to the Black Power Salute protest by two African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both San Jose State College athletes, at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Years earlier, Edwards had been a discus thrower on the San Jose State track team.[2]

The New York Times Magazine wrote that Edwards "has seen himself as one who provokes and incites others to action, a reformer, not a revolutionary. And indeed, no other single figure in sports has done as much to make the country aware that the problems of the larger culture are recapitulated in sports, that the arena is no sanctuary from drugs, racism and corruption."[3]

Edwards told Time magazine that he "wants to serve as a role model—the promising athlete who gave up the possibility of a career in professional sports to become a scholar instead."[4] "We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open," he said. "The chances of your becoming a Jerry Rice or a Magic Johnson are so slim as to be negligible. Black kids must learn to distribute their energies in a way that's going to make them productive, contributing citizens in an increasingly high-technology society.[5]

In 1989, Edwards drew criticism for scheduling a midterm examination for one of his classes on Yom Kippur.[6]


In addition to articles and essays in Sports Illustrated and Psychology Today, Edwards has published:

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ "Harry Edwards". Newsmakers (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Detroit: Gale. 1989. GALE|K1618000912. Retrieved 2012-05-02.  Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Free At Last 1960 -1964". Speed City: From Civil Rights to Black Power» A Historical Athletics Exhibit curated by Urla Hill. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  3. ^ Lipsyte, Robert (May 22, 1988). "An Outside Joins the Team". New York Times Magazine. 
  4. ^ Black Biography: Harry Edwards
  5. ^ Wyss, Dennis (March 6, 1989). "Fighting From the Inside". Time. 
  6. ^ "Professor Criticized for Exam on Yom Kippur". The New York Times. October 14, 1989. Retrieved December 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ UC Berkeley, Harry Edwards list of publications, retrieved May 11, 2007 Archived January 3, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]