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About the book
  • Published: 1 February 2017
  • ISBN: 9780399548345
  • Imprint: Philomel
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $29.99

Strong Inside


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This thought-provoking, insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

A young readers edition of the New York Times bestselling adult nonfiction book about the racism and obstacles faced by Perry Wallace, the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference.

Perry Wallace entered kindergarten the year that Brown v. Board of Education upended “separate but equal.” As a 12-year-old, he sneaked downtown to watch the sit-ins at Nashville’s lunch counters. A week after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Wallace entered high school, and later saw the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. On March 16, 1966, his Pearl High School basketball team won Tennessee’s first integrated state tournament—the same day Adolph Rupp’s all-white Kentucky Wildcats lost to the all-black starting lineup of the Texas Western Miners in an iconic NCAA title game.

The world seemed to be opening up at just the right time, and when Vanderbilt recruited Wallace, 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 nothing like he could’ve ever imagined.

This thought-provoking, insightful biography digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a complicated, profound, and inspiring story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer.

  • Pub date: 1 February 2017
  • ISBN: 9780399548345
  • Imprint: Philomel
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $29.99

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