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Against the backdrop of the civil rights revolution taking place in 1950s America, Up the Back Stairs is Dr. Dick Barnett’s serious and personal reflection of the important role that sports has played in American history. Although largely ignored by mainstream media and the American public, history was made by a superlative basketball team from Tennessee A&I University and their legendary coach John B. McLendon. This pioneering squad not only captured an unprecedented three consecutive national championships, they were also an essential force for breaking down deep-seated institutional barriers of segregation in collegiate and professional athletics, and integrating Kansas City hotels and restaurants.
Justice, honor, and restitution would finally be served when this history-making team and their coach are inducted in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Milton S. Katz
Author of “Breaking Through: John B. McLendon, Basketball Legend and Civil Rights Pioneer”
The Eastern League became the repository of the captivation of the American culture of separation and segregation that remained in the 1940s and 1950s. – Dick Barnett
Many players had the abilities to play in the NBA if given the opportunity. – Sam Stith
A number of players caught in the scandals of the 1950s in college were relegated to the Eastern League, black or white. – James Sattle White
The Eastern League was the emotional linchpin to keep the competitive instincts of players that still wanted to compete. – Joe Roberts
The Harlem Globetrotters were the only other options open to black players denied to compete in newly formed NBA. – Bobby Hunter
The Dream Whisperer is a book that identifies people from all walks of life, with flawed and imperfect existence, but, are focus and driven – by passion, a unquenchable thirst to achieve a goal, and fuel the everyday need to stay focus, stay hungry, stay committed, and determined to live a dream – through many doubts of naysayers, second guessers, and constant denials that one has taken the right path in search for happiness, meaning, and inner fulfillment.
Dreams is a sub-stained philosophy of desire and purpose to help guide, focus and encourage one to continue the path of love, hard work, and optimism to fulfill the dream paradigm.
Fall Back Baby: Search for the American Dream is a chronicle of the struggle to emerge from the social. political, and economic schisms of limited opportunities of life in the inner city of Gary Indiana during the stagnant period of the 1950s. and how sports and education transformed my dreams and ambitions to eventually hand the baton of hope, possibilities, and Justice to others in the twenty first century.
Fall Back Baby sounds forth the trumpet that will never call retreat, as my search for actualization carried me to Tennessee A&I, Hollywood & Vine, Broadway in New York, to the National Basketball Association (NBA), to the halls of academia as a professor at St. John’s University, and to the Presidency of SportScope, the Center for the Study and Research of Athletes and Sports in American Society.