Top critical review
Where are the women??
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2008
This beautifully illustrated book chronicles the rise and fall of Negro League Baseball. Full-page paintings give you a real look at some of the most talented baseball players of their time (and possibly of any time). The writing is also awesome. Using a collective "we", Kadir Nelson speaks with the voice of all Negro League players, like he's been there and seen everything that he talks about. He uses a very conversational tone, like you were sitting on the back porch with any one of the players and talking about the things he'd seen. The book tells a story that is often neglected, a history of which many people might not be aware.
And that's why it surprised me so much that the women who played in the Negro League were not mentioned at all. I would have given this book a much higher rating, but it seems a glaring omission to me. Albeit, most of the action wraps up around 1945 when Jackie Robinson signed with the Major Leagues. And Mamie Johnson, Toni Stone, and Connie Morgan didn't join the league until somewhere around 1953. But it still seems like Nelson is doing to the women players what white people did to the African-American players... by neglecting to mention them, he's effectively erasing them from history. The subtitle of the book proclaims it to be "the story of Negro League Baseball". Why aren't women a part of that story?