The Kids Got It Right: How the Texas All-Stars Kicked Down Racial Walls

Jim Dent. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-00785-8
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Dent (The Junction Boys) spotlights one of the prouder moments in Texas gridiron lore, with its first high school football integration effort winning the 1965 Big 33. Following a trouncing by a stellar Pennsylvania team the previous year, coach Bobby Layne met with then-governor John Connelly with a request for Negroes to be recruited on the team, noting that black players on the opposition had made the difference, and the chief state politician approved but required a win. Dent accurately provides the rigid Jim Crow backdrop of Texas against which the three black players were chosen, and Jerry LeVias, James Harris, and George Dunford played through white resistance and high expectations. He focuses on the strong bond between LeVias and his white teammate, quarterback Bill Bradley, a partnership that dissipates the legacy of hate to triumph in the 1965 big game. A work of tolerance, sportsmanship, and friendship, Dent’s account of coach Layne and his boys is a feel-good American story that never slumps into slogans or stereotypes. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/2013
Release date: 08/20/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-1-250-05395-4
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-250-01789-5
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