This uplifting story of a boys' football team shines light on the under-appreciated virtues that can bloom in impoverished neighborhoods, even as nearby communities exclude them from economic progress.
Never Ran, Never Will tells the story of the working-class, mostly black neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn; its proud youth football team, the Mo Better Jaguars; and the young boys who are often at the center of both. Oomz, Gio, Hart, and their charismatic, vulnerable friends, come together on a dusty football field. All around them their community is threatened by violence, poverty, and the specter of losing their homes to gentrification. Their passionate, unpaid coaches teach hard lessons about surviving American life with little help from the outside world, cultivating in their players the perseverance and courage to make it.
Football isn't everybody's ideal way to find the American dream, but for some kids it's the surest road there is. The Mo Better Jaguars team offers a refuge from the gang feuding that consumes much of the streets and a ticket to a better future in a country where football talent remains an exceptionally valuable commodity. If the team can make the regional championships, prestigious high schools and colleges might open their doors to the players.
Never Ran, Never Will is a complex, humane story that reveals the changing world of an American inner city and a group of unforgettable boys in the middle of it all.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Albert Samaha is a criminal justice reporter at BuzzFeed News. He has written for the Village Voice, San Francisco Weekly, and the Riverfront Times, and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Observer, Pop-Up Magazine, and the Best American Travel Writing anthology series. His stories have won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Education Writers Association, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and others. He is a graduate of Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism and lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
List of Characters xi
Author's Note xiii
Part I Boyhood
1 Gio's Arrival, July 2013 3
2 Looking for These Better Days, August 2013 13
3 Directed Toward Decay, September 2013 25
4 The Fundamentals of Life, September-November 2013 51
5 Crossroads, January 2014 73
6 Pressure Chamber, March-April 2014 83
7 Between Saviors and a Dead End, April 2014 99
8 What's Best for Isaiah, May 2014 119
9 Goodbyes, June 2014 133
Part II Football
10 The Days and Nights of Summer, June-July 2014 141
11 On the Horizon, July-August 2014 163
12 Hell Week, August 2014 175
13 Stop Dancin' and Run Somebody Over, August-September 2014 191
14 What They've Been Waiting For, Early to mid-September 2014 205
15 East Orange, Mid-September 2014 223
16 To Make It in the Jungle, Late September 2014 239
17 Brick City, Late September 2014 253
18 None of Y'all Gon' Die Tonight, Mid to late October 2014 275
19 The Rematch, Late October 2014 297
20 Blessings, December 2017 307