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The Idealist: Jack Trice and the Battle for A Forgotten Football Legacy by Jonathan Gelber


Author Jonathan Gelber captures the essence of Black America’s condition and fight in the compelling story of The Idealist—Jack Trice. Trice grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio, area playing high school football. He then went west to Iowa State College to continue his football career where one of his idols, George Washington Carver, had become the first Black student at the Ames school. As Trice sat in his hotel room the night before a road game at Minnesota, unable to eat with the team because he was Black, he wrote a letter about his upcoming experience. In part the Oct. 8, 1923, letter said: “My thoughts just before the first real college game of my life. The honor of my race, family and self are at stake. Everyone is expecting me to do great things. I will.” The next day, he sustained a serious injury and would die two days later. The book charts race relations in the United States over decades and how many people for years fought to have the football stadium at now Iowa State University named after Trice. Various emotions might incite the reader such as anger, sadness, perseverance, and hope. (Triumph Books)


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