The inspirational true story of the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conferencea powerful and often overlooked moment in Black history.
Perry Wallace was born at an historic crossroads in U.S. history. He entered kindergarten the year that the Brown v. Board of Education decision led to integrated schools, allowing blacks and whites to learn side by side. A week after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Wallace enrolled in high school and his sensational jumping, dunking, and rebounding abilities quickly earned him the attention of college basketball recruiters from top schools across the nation. In his senior year his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee's first racially-integrated state tournament.
The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt University recruited Wallace to play basketball, he courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the Southeastern Conference. The hateful experiences he would endure on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be the stuff of nightmares. Yet Wallace persisted, endured, and met this unthinkable challenge head on. This insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.
About the Author
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Dear Readers: To accurately and vividly convey the racism that Perry Wallace and others encountered during certain scenes described in this book, the derogatory language they heard at the time is included here without edits. It would be a disservice to the reader and the heroes of this story to whitewash history by sanitizing these epithets.
Excerpted from "Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition)"
Copyright © 2016 Andrew Maraniss.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Dangerous Place 1
Chapter 2 Short 26th 5
Chapter 3 Freedom Song 17
Chapter 4 Pearl of the Community 25
Chapter 5 The Woomp Show 30
Chapter 6 Not Just Another Game 34
Chapter 7 They Had the Wrong Guy 42
Chapter 8 The Name of the Game 49
Chapter 9 Champions! 57
Chapter 10 The Promise 66
Chapter 11 The Surprise 72
Chapter 12 Dangerous Territory 78
Chapter 13 History Made Them Wrong 87
Chapter 14 Hit or Miss 93
Chapter 15 Crazy People 106
Chapter 16 Sudden Impact 114
Chapter 17 What About Justice? 126
Chapter 18 The Invisible Man 135
Chapter 19 Slammed Shut 141
Chapter 20 As Good as It Gets 146
Chapter 21 The Sudden Fall 157
Chapter 22 Nightmares 162
Chapter 23 Hate, Defeated 170
Chapter 24 A River of Tears 179
Chapter 25 Death of a Dream 184
Chapter 26 Truth to Power 189
Chapter 27 The Cruel Deception 196
Chapter 28 All Alone 202
Chapter 29 Nevermore 207
Chapter 30 Bachelor of Ugliness 215
Chapter 31 He Saved the Best for Last 221
Chapter 32 Ticket Out of Town 227
Author's Note 235