Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City

Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City

by Jay Jennings

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Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City by Jay Jennings

In 1957, nine African American teenagers faced angry mobs and the resistance of a segregationist governor to claim their right to educational equality. The bravery of the Little Rock Nine, as they became known, captured the country's imagination and made history but created deep scars in the community.

Jay Jennings, a veteran sportswriter and native son of Little Rock, returned to his hometown to take the pulse of the city and the school as the fiftieth anniversary of the integration fight approached. He found a compelling story in the school's football team, where black and white students came together under longtime coach Bernie Cox, whose philosophy of discipline and responsibility and punishing brand of physical football know no color. A very private man, Cox nevertheless allowed Jennings full access to the team, from a preseason program in July through the Tigers' final game in November.

In the season Jennings masterfully chronicles, the coach finds his ideas sorely tested in his attempts to unify the team, and the result is a story brimming with humor, compassion, frustration, and honesty. Carry the Rock tells the story of the dramatic ups and downs of a high school football season, and it reveals a city struggling with its legacy of racial tension and grappling with complex, subtle issues of contemporary segregation. What Friday Night Lights did for small-town Texas, Carry the Rock does for the urban south and for any place like Little Rock, where sports, race, and community intersect.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605291123
Publisher: Rodale
Publication date: 09/14/2010
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Jay Jennings is a former writer for Sports Illustrated and has contributed to publications from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to Vogue and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in Little Rock, AR.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Upon This Rock xi

Chapter 1 The Distant Goal 1

Chapter 2 Building Central High 21

Chapter 3 Speeches And Judgments 51

Chapter 4 "We Got no Leaders" 71

Chapter 5 Making A Stand 99

Chapter 6 Road to Ruin 117

Chapter 7 Face to Face 133

Chapter 8 Chemistry and Consequences 153

Chapter 9 On the Offensive 171

Chapter 10 The Distant Goal (Continued) 191

Epilogue 221

Acknowledgments 229

Selected Sources 233

Index 245

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