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Book Cover for: Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South, Andrew Maraniss

Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South

Andrew Maraniss

New York Times Best Seller
2015 RFK Book Awards Special Recognition
2015 Lillian Smith Book Award
2015 AAUP Books Committee "Outstanding" Title

When Strong Inside was first published ten years ago, no one could have predicted the impact the book would have on Vanderbilt University, Nashville, and communities across the nation. What began as a biography of Perry Wallace--the first African American basketball player in the Southeastern Conference (SEC)--became a catalyst for meaningful change and reconciliation between Wallace and the city that had rejected him. In this tenth-anniversary edition, scholars of race and sports Louis Moore and Derrick E. White provide a new foreword that places the story in the context of the study of sports and society, and author Andrew Maraniss adds a concluding chapter filling readers in on how events unfolded between Strong Inside's publication in 2014 and Perry Wallace's death in 2017 and exploring Wallace's continuing legacy.

Wallace entered kindergarten the year that Brown v. Board of Education upended "separate but equal." As a twelve-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 19, 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 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 him, Wallace courageously accepted the assignment to desegregate the SEC. His experiences on campus and in the hostile gymnasiums of the Deep South turned out to be nothing like he ever imagined.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Vanderbilt University Press
  • Publish Date: Mar 15th, 2024
  • Pages: 480
  • Language: English
  • Edition: - 0002
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780826506924
  • Categories: SportsCivil RightsUnited States - State & Local - South (AL,AR,FL,GA,KY,LA,MS,

About the Author

Maraniss, Andrew: - Andrew Maraniss is the New York Times-bestselling author of Strong Inside, the only sports-related book ever to win two prestigious civil rights awards--the Lillian Smith Book Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards Special Recognition Prize. Andrew is a contributor to ESPN's sports and race website,, and helps run Vanderbilt University's Sports & Society Initiative. He also writes nonfiction for young readers.
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