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Running is his sacred ritual. As his legs gracefully carry him around the track at the University of Pennsylvania, he feels the wind in his face and freedom at his back. It is 1905, and John Baxter Taylor Jr. is three years away ...
Running is his sacred ritual. As his legs gracefully carry him around the track at the University of Pennsylvania, he feels the wind in his face and freedom at his back. It is 1905, and John Baxter Taylor Jr. is three years away from representing the United States at the Olympic Games in England, where he will become the first African American Gold Medalist in Olympic Game history.
Taylor has done everything in his power to live an uncommon life and defy those who dare to stand in his way. As he transforms himself from a skinny boy who licks at the heels of his fellow high school competitors while ignoring racial slurs to becoming one of the best quarter-milers in the world, he beats not only his competitors on the track but also shines academically, eventually earning a degree in veterinary medicine.
In this compelling historical novel, the story of one man's extraordinary life led by his unyielding determination to achieve his dream despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles will inspire you to remember that glory does not die, but is instead passed on to the next person willing to carry the torch in their heart.
Posted March 21, 2013
Posted July 26, 2012
Posted June 1, 2011
Williams is triumphant in delivering the untold story of the first African American Olympic Gold Medalist. The story of John Baxter Taylor is intriguing and infused with love and disappointment. Taylor obliterated barriers on and off the track with his intellect and athleticism. Williams carefully penned this compelling story that gives a glimpse in the life of this unknown hero. However, there were times when more introspective thought would have captured the reader. For example, as Taylor's health swiftly declined, I would have liked to learn more of how he felt biologically and how he felt as his dreams of marriage and practicing veterinary medicine slipped away. I was also expecting more parallels between Jack Johnson and John Baxter Taylor, but had to settle with a lunch time lesson on wisdom.
I applaud the author for reminding the world that there is more to black history than Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, and Madam C. J. Walker.
Posted May 12, 2011
This was the best book I've read this year! Craig T. Williams has a way of capturing the period in a way that is genuine and complete. A look into the life of a trailblazer who set a personal standard and lived a complete life. I'm amazed that I'm just learning of his story. Williams gives a wonderful account of the formative years of the olympic games...truly facinating and inspiring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.