This'll be a quick one, as it's more of a "huh, I hadn't thought of that" than any particularly new idea, but the depiction of racial politics in Martin's article caught my eye.
We've seen the pageantry concerning the German/Nazi and Russian/Soviet wrestlers, the "sneaky" Japanese who "all know karate," etc. What surprises me is the treatment of the black and "Red Indian" characters: the article describes the latter as capable of enduring "great pain and injustice without flinching or retaliating in kind," which seems to me a rather modern stereotype, more Dances With Wolves than John Wayne. In addition, Martin notes that promoters rarely divided good and evil along racial lines, e.g. Buster Lloyd, who "happened to be black," as we like to say now, but derived his villainous persona from the fact that he was a New Yorker, and ended up being beaten by a black Texan. This itself carries a powerful symbol about race and national identity: if you're from Texas, black or white, you're an American. (New York, the jury's still out in large parts of the country.)
The interview with Dusty Rhodes we saw last night, and Sam's commentary, demonstrate that the economics of racial integration were starting to exert a pull on the industry by this period, so this shouldn't be all that surprising. (For blacks, anyway...is there any data on American Indian audiences? Were there any such audiences from which to gather data?) I don't recall reading anything about it from the earlier eras, though. Were there popular black heels and babyfaces before this era, and were the races as politicized, for lack of a better term? If I've forgotten and someone could refresh me, what did segregation-era wrestling look like?