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

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

Format:  Hardcover,

255 pages

Publisher: St Martins Pr

Publish Date: Sep 2010

ISBN-13: 9781605296371

ISBN-10: 1605296376

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
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.

Specifications

Publisher: St Martins Pr
Publish Date: Sep 2010
ISBN-13: 9781605296371
ISBN-10: 1605296376
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 255
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.15
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75

Chapter outline

Prologue: Upon This Rockp. xi
The Distant Goalp. 1
Building Central Highp. 21
Speeches and Judgmentsp. 51
We Got No Leadersp. 71
Making A Standp. 99
Road to Ruinp. 117
Face to Facep. 133
Chemistry and Consequencesp. 153
On the Offensivep. 171
The Distant Goal (Continued)p. 191
Epiloguep. 221
Acknowledgmentsp. 229
Selected Sourcesp. 233
Indexp. 245

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2010-09-01)

Fifty years after the first nine black students at Little Rock's Central High were escorted into the Arkansas school by National Guard troops, Little Rock native and resident Jennings (former reporter, Sports Illustrated; editor, Tennis and the Meaning of Life) spent the 2007 football season with the Central football team. Through Jennings, we get to know Bernie Cox, the school's coach for the last 30 years, his assistant coaches, and, to a lesser extent, his players.

The first third of the book leaps back and forth in time to a confusing degree between the lackluster present and the town's racial history. The author portrays a city still divided by race along the layout of the freeway through town and through local school board politics, often bisected neatly along racial lines as well. However, the mixing of high school football and urban sociology do not mesh with much resonance here for either football fans or general readers.

Verdict: Not particularly revealing, this book may be of greatest interest in the region of its subject.

-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

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.

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