Say It Loud: An Illustrated History of the Black Athlete

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They are heroes, stars, agitators, and entertainers; mentors, innovators, history-makers, and record-breakers. They are the men and women whose physical gifts buoyed the spirits of a people and lifted up the soul of a nation.

Say It Loud
pays tribute not only to such household names as Jackie, Ali, Michael, Tiger, Venus, and Serena but to the forgotten many who made their success and glory possible. Profiled in these pages are figures whose ...
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Overview

They are heroes, stars, agitators, and entertainers; mentors, innovators, history-makers, and record-breakers. They are the men and women whose physical gifts buoyed the spirits of a people and lifted up the soul of a nation.

Say It Loud
pays tribute not only to such household names as Jackie, Ali, Michael, Tiger, Venus, and Serena but to the forgotten many who made their success and glory possible. Profiled in these pages are figures whose accomplishments changed the game and transcended the playing field: Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder, who blazed paths on the PGA tour’s fairways; Moses Fleetwood Walker, the last African-American in professional baseball for nearly a half century before the color barrier finally fell in 1946, and Rube Foster, whose Negro National League shined a light on black stars during that benighted period; Paul Robeson, the first black football All-America, who later became a versatile artist and activist, and Fritz Pollard, whose list of gridiron firsts could fill its own book; Junius Kellogg, whose integrity protected college basketball’s in the 1950s; Althea Gibson, who brought her overpowering game from the streets to Wimbledon’s Centre Court, and Dr. Robert “Whirlwind” Johnson of Richmond, Virginia, who nurtured Gibson, Arthur Ashe, and others in order to make a permanent place for blacks in a “white” game.

Say It Loud salutes African-American athletes who fought tirelessly not just to be the best at their games but to make their country that didn’t want them a better place. Featuring an Introduction by Super Bowl–winning coach Tony Dungy and scores of rare photographs, Say It Loud is a deeply inspiring testament to an extraordinary athletic heritage.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
There will be questions about whether this is a legitimate study of African American history or a pretty coffee-table book. It is a hybrid. The authors are journalists, both founding editors of ESPN The Magazine, not scholars, and the book features some handsome photographs of African American sports greats, offering grist for the coffee-table-book mill. However, along with the recognizable stars, Jones and Paolucci introduce us to many African American athletes unfamiliar to the general public (e.g., Duke Slater, Lucia Harris-Stewart, Jimmy Winkfield, and Ann Gregory)—as well as Effa Manley, a white woman who passed for black as she served in a high management position with the all-black Newark Eagles baseball team. The authors take pains to portray their subjects' places in the long African American struggle for civil rights. VERDICT Ultimately, this is an attractive, readable book recommended for all public libraries and school libraries needing materials on more obscure African Americans who have nevertheless made names for themselves in their field. There is, however, no index.—Jim Burns, Jacksonville P.L., FL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345515896
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.54 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Roxanne Jones is one of the founding editors of ESPN The Magazine and helped to create such ESPN programs as Cold Pizza and the Emmy Award-nominated The Life. A former editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Daily News, she has served on the boards of the National Association of Black Journalists, and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana. In addition, she is the recipient of the 2010 Woman of the Year Award given by Women in Sports & Entertainment. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Jesse Paolucci got her start in sports journalism as a writer-reporter for Total Sports. She was one of the founding editors of ESPN The Magazine, where she oversaw several departments, including “The Jump,” which was nominated for Best Magazine Section by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2005. She was deputy editor at Budget Living magazine and served as a consultant and producer for ESPN’s Content Group. Jessie is currently a freelance writer, editor, and web producer and is developing TeenGive360, an online nonprofit for young volunteers. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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