Faculty: Audwin Anderson

Sociology professor featured in film
about African-Americans in surfing

Dr. Audwin Anderson

By Billi London-Gray

Dr. Audwin Anderson has spent his career exploring the complexities of human interactions. As a professor and graduate advisor at Texas State University specializing in the sociology of law, his research usually focuses on subjects like jury service, social justice and social power within the criminal justice system. But in a new documentary, he sails into another area of academic interest: sports history.

Whitewash is filmmaker Ted Woods’ examination of the history and contributions of African-Americans in the world of surfing. In the film, Anderson provides commentary on the history of African-Americans in sports.

Anderson became involved in the film through the recommendation of a colleague, Georgia Tech professor Willie Pearson. After arranging the interview, Woods filmed Anderson in his office on the Texas State campus.

“My contribution was the history of African-American participation in different sports,” Anderson says.

Not a surfer himself, Anderson says he discussed the historic and landmark contributions of African-American athletes in a number of sports, providing context for Woods’ focus on the surfing community.

According to a press release, the film shows  “a comprehensive study from the perspective of black surfers from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California, blending archival footage and conversations with professors, historians, authors, organizations and professional surfers.”

Whitewash features, among others, surfers Kelly Slater, Rob Machado and Buttons Kaluhiokalani, plus narration by Grammy winners Ben Harper and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, a member of The Roots. It will be release on DVD Oct. 4 through Virgil Films and Entertainment.

Dr. Audwin Anderson has been on the faculty at Texas State since 1994. He teaches sociology courses in law, sports, medicine and multicultural relations. His previous published works on African-Americans in sports include articles appearing in Diversity and Social Justice in College Sports, Racism in College Athletics and the Annual Review of Applied Research in Coaching and Athletics.

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