WHO: Wil Haygood
1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart,
and a Magical Season of Healing
WHEN: Published by Knopf September 20, 2018
WHERE: The story is set in Columbus OH.
WHY: “This laugh-and-cry tale of rollicking and wrenching drama…is electric with tension and conviction, and incandescent with unity and hope.
“The city is Columbus OH; its Tigers are the phenomenally talented and determined basketball and baseball teams at East High School, and the ‘magic’ happens during the traumatic and tragic events of 1968 and 1969. In spite of official desegregation, East High’s students were all African Americans, and its resources severely limited; yet it was rich in talent and spirit, from exceptionally gifted athletes to the heroically devoted and innovative principal, Jack Gibbs, also African American.
“Columbus is the hometown of journalist, Guggenheim fellow, and acclaimed author Haygood, and he is in the zone as he portrays in striking and thoughtful detail team members, many the of sons of domestic workers, and their coaches and supporters in this dynamic, multidimensional and heart-revving inquiry into how two ragtag teams managed to win two back-to-back state championships in basketball, displaying passionate teamwork that embodied the pride and protest of the black-power movement.
“As in all his avidly read books, Haygood sets the stories of fascinating individuals within the context of freshly reclaimed and vigorously recounted African American history as he masterfully brings a high school and its community to life.”
–Donna Seaman, in a starred review for BOOKLIST
“An engrossing tale of one shining moment in dark times.
“The inspiring story of East High’s championship becomes even more astonishing in the context of endemic racism, which the author closely examines, and ‘the turmoil of a nation at war and in the midst of unrest,’ roiled by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.” –KIRKUS, a starred review
“Haygood is a passionate storyteller as he expertly captures this period of civil unrest in an American city.” –PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Knopf. With 23 photos. 400 pages. $27.95
To interview the author, contact:
Kathy Zuckerman | 212-572-2105 | email@example.com