Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights

Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights

by Samuel G. Freedman

Paperback

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Overview

Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights by Samuel G. Freedman

1967. Two rival football teams. Two legendary coaches. Two talented quarterbacks. Together they broke the color line, revolutionized college sports, and transformed the NFL. Freedman’s dramatic account, highly praised as a contributing part of the movement and a riveting sports story, is now available in paperback.

In September 1967, after three years of landmark civil rights laws and three months of devastating urban riots, the football season began at Louisiana’s Grambling College and Florida A&M. The teams were led by two extraordinary coaches, Eddie Robinson and Jake Gaither, and they featured the best quarterbacks ever at each school, James Harris and Ken Riley.

Breaking the Line brings to life the historic saga of the battle for the 1967 black college championship, culminating in a riveting, excruciatingly close contest. Samuel G. Freedman traces the rise of these four leaders and their teammates as they storm through the season. Together they helped compel the segre­gated colleges of the South to integrate their teams and redefined who could play quarterback in the NFL, who could be a head coach, and who could run a franchise as general manager.

In Breaking the Line, Freedman brilliantly tells this suspenseful story of character and talent as he takes us from locker room to state capitol, from embattled campus to packed stadium. He captures a pivotal time in American sport and society, filling a missing and crucial chapter in the movement for civil rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439189788
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 08/12/2014
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 649,550
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Samuel G. Freedman is a columnist for The New York Times and a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of six acclaimed books, four of which have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Freedman also has written frequently for USA TODAY, New York magazine, Rolling Stone, The Jerusalem Post, Tablet, The Forward, and Salon.com. He lives in Manhattan with his fiance and his children.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Behind God's Back 1

1 Draw Water Where You Can 7

2 The Laboratory for Manhood 27

3 Spared for Something 47

4 Somebody Has Got to Pay 83

5 The Best Quarterback Tonight 109

6 Diplomacy with Downtown 137

7 That's My Blood 157

8 Borrowed Time 191

9 Juneteenth in December 205

10 History in the Air 243

Epilogue: Their Lives, Their Legacy 257

Acknowledgments 271

1967 Regular-Season Records 275

Starting Lineups 277

Notes 279

Bibliography 295

Photo Credits 301

Index 303

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