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The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism Paperback – January 29, 2019

4.7 out of 5 stars 246 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fascinating, insightful look at race, politics, and sport.”
Booklist

“A well-researched meditation on the historical pressures on African-American athletes to embrace (or avoid) political engagement. . . An appealing blend of sports history and provocative discussion of race and success, respect, and representation in America.”
Kirkus Reviews

“In this timely book, Bryant, senior writer for
ESPN Magazine, astutely explains how sports serves ‘as a barometer of blacks’ standing in the larger culture.’ . . . . This indispensable book expertly chronicles a fractured nation dealing with black players who no longer want to (as Fox News host Laura Ingraham told LeBron James) ‘shut up and dribble.’”
Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating and complex look at the role of black athletes as political activists. Bryant’s analysis of the intersection of professional sports and promoting patriotism (or nationalism, depending on one’s point of view) is especially enlightening.”
Library Journal

“Bryant keeps his eye on the ball. On top of that, Bryant writes with the kind of vim, in turns darkly comic and serious, that pulls you from page to page. It’s a bracing analysis that brings clarity during a hazy season.”
Pacific Standard

“Bryant’s
The Heritage is required reading for young people to realize what they’re seeing isn’t new, for current adults to understand the current climate in American sports and for older folks who lamented the lack of activist voices in the athletic ranks. The baton has been tossed.”
New York Amsterdam News

“This book will surprise, enlighten, and provide readers food for thought.
Heritage lingers in the consciousness—readers will find themselves revisiting its pages long after completing it.”
Los Angeles Review of Books

“It may make people uncomfortable, but I’m pleased that Howard Bryant has chosen to tell the story of our heritage, and even more pleased that there are still ballplayers today who are willing to stand up for what they think is right.”
—Henry Aaron, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

“Serious times call for serious action. After leaving a communist totalitarian country when I was eighteen, I was free to speak out, and I did.
The Heritage gives the clearest breakdown I’ve read on why we athletes not only have the right to advocate for what we believe in—but oftentimes a duty.”
—Martina Navratilova, eighteen-time tennis Grand Slam winner

“If you believe that sports can be a lens for interpreting and understanding our world, then
The Heritage is the Rosetta stone. Howard Bryant’s latest explains so much about racism and the black athlete’s place in US history that every chapter could be its own college course. But Bryant’s book is less history than twenty-first-century prophetic fire: a polemic homing in on the ways that militarism, sports, and black athletic resistance have become volcanically explosive in the era of Trump. This is the book for explaining our times, whether you give a damn about sports or not.”
—Dave Zirin, sports editor,
The Nation, and author of Jim Brown: Last Man Standing

About the Author

Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine and has served as the sports correspondent for NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006. He is the author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron; Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball; Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston; and the three-book Legends sports series for middle-grade readers. A two-time Casey Award winner (2003, 2011) for best baseball book of the year, Bryant was also a 2003 finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research Seymour Medal. In 2016, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award and received the 2016 Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Beacon Press; Reprint edition (January 29, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0807038083
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0807038086
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.02 x 0.85 x 8.97 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 246 ratings

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Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine. He has also served as the sports correspondent for National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday since 2006.

Prior to joining ESPN in 2007, Mr. Bryant spent the previous two years at The Washington Post. He has worked at the Boston Herald, The Bergen Record, The San Jose Mercury News and The Oakland Tribune.

A native of Boston, Mr. Bryant is the author of three books: Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston, Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball and The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron.

He has also contributed to five other books: Thinking Black: Some of the Nation's Best Black Columnists Speak Their Mind (1995), Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, The Dodgers and The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
246 global ratings

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