Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball's Color Line

Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball's Color Line

by Andrew Maraniss


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The inspirational true story of the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference—a 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399548345
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 12/20/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 764,119
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: 1170L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Andrew Maraniss studied history at Vanderbilt University and as a recipient of the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice sportswriting scholarship, earned the school's Alexander Award for excellence in journalism. He then worked for five years in Vanderbilt's athletic department as the associate director of media relations, dealing primarily with the men's basketball team. The son of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author David Maraniss and trailblazing environmentalist Linda Maraniss, Andrew was born in Madison, Wisconsin, grew up in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas and now lives in Brentwood, Tennessee, with his wife Alison, and their two young children. His first book for adults, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South, was a New York Times nonfiction bestseller. Follow Andrew on Twitter @trublu24.

Read an Excerpt

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)"
by .
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

Acknowledgments 244

Bibliography 247

Index 253

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