STRONG INSIDE by Andrew Maraniss

December 1, 2014

Andrew Maraniss spoke about his book, Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South, at Politics & Prose on Monday December 1, 2014.

Based on more than eighty interviews, this fast-paced, richly detailed biography of Perry Wallace, the first African American basketball player in the SEC, digs deep beneath the surface to reveal a more complicated and profound story of sports pioneering than we've come to expect from the genre. Perry Wallace's unusually insightful and honest introspection reveals his inner thoughts throughout his journey. 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 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.

Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South By Andrew Maraniss Cover Image
ISBN: 9780826520234
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vanderbilt University Press - December 1st, 2014