Before Bo Jackson and Cam Newton, Thom Gossom made history in 1970 by walking onto the Auburn football team as a wide receiver—and ended up being one of the first African Americans to integrate the team and the first African-American athlete to graduate from the nearly all-white University.
Even the flap copy to his book, Walk-On, a memoir that outlines his “reluctant journey into integration,” sets the tone of his missive by stating that Gossom did not set out to be a groundbreaker or trailblazer. He didn’t apply to Auburn with the goal of integrating the team or being the first Black anything from the almost all-White college. He was talented and smart—and he just had a love of football and really wanted to play at Auburn. Earning a scholarship after one season, he became the teams’ best receiver and a three-year starter.
“I always knew I would write this book,” said Gossom in a prepared statement. “It was evident by what we were going through that history was being made, and it needed to be chronicled. Sometimes I’m not sure that within the sports industry today, athletes have a good sense of what barriers were being broken and what myths debunked that paved the way for their success and place on the team. I wanted my book to tell a story that respected the times, and chronicled one of the biggest cultural changes since the Civil Rights Movement.”
Walk-On is also a testament to Auburn’s courage as sports pioneers. “Auburn signed the first black basketball and football players in the deep south, knowing it would not be a smooth journey to today,” said Gossom
Final word: Heart-warming underdog story particularly touching for sports enthusiasts
Available now at Borders Books and online at Amazon and bestgurl.com.
Nigger for Life
Born and raised in Warren, Ohio, Nigger for Life author Neal Hall is the textbook definition of an American success. Hall attended Cornell University where he excelled at school and garnered much in the nature of sports accolades. He went on to receive a medical degree from Michigan State and his ophthalmology surgery subspecialty training from Harvard University. Despite his track record of accomplishments, Hall believes some Americans will still see him as a “nigger for life.”
The poetry book explores Hall’s painful realization of an “unspoken America” where he is judged primarily by his skin color and not his Ivy League education and intelligence.
Noted scholar Cornel West praised the book, saying Hall’s “poetry has the capacity to change ordinary people’s philosophy on social and racial issues.”
Final word: Striking, rare look at America through the viewpoint of a Black surgeon/poet/activist
For more information visit surgeon-poet.com.
WAKE UP! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now!
Who would have thought that a trash-filled lot, a lot that was reserved by the city for newly-constructed homes for low-income families, across the street from Gary McAbee’s Jersey City, N.J., home would be the inspiration for a book?
“I was tired of seeing my people my high school students, my African American brothers and sisters, my family members, even casual acquaintances resigning themselves to living a life of mediocrity,” said Gary McAbee, author of WAKE UP! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now! “My motivation for writing this book was to give people something to push them, to encourage them to do better and be better. They owe it to themselves, to their children, and to their community.”
WAKE UP! 42 Ways to Improve Black America Now! is a call-to-action book for all people, with an emphasis on African Americans, who want to improve their lives. In the book, McAbee stresses the importance of taking personal responsibility for one’s own life. “We can’t change our lives if we keep blaming others for our state of affairs,” McAbee said in a statement. “If we don’t own our circumstances, we don’t own the power to change.”
McAbee is an author and motivational speaker who spent three years researching and writing because of his desire to help others. He has taught on both high school and college levels and earned his master’s degree in education from Duquesne University while holding numerous certifications and awards.
Final word: An inspiring self-help tome from a self-published author
For more information, go to Gary McAbee’s website www.motivationfortheworld.com.