African professionals? Uruguay’s Black stars of the 1916 Copa America

Uruguay went into the 1916 Campeonato Sudamericano in Buenos Aires seeking not only redemption, but reaffirmation. Of course, they there to avenge the humiliating 4-1 defeat suffered against Argentina at the Revolución de Mayo tournament six years earlier. More importantly, however, the tournament was an opportunity for Uruguay to measure both their progress as a nation and to confirm their exceptional place in America. And reflecting this growing sense of Uruguayan exceptionalism was the presence of two Black players in their squad, Juan Delgado and Isabelino Gradín. Continue reading “African professionals? Uruguay’s Black stars of the 1916 Copa America”