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We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
- 2009 Orbis Pictus Award Honor Book
- 2009 Sibert Medal Winner
âWe are the ship; all else the sea.ââRube Foster, founder of the Negro National League
The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball.
Using an âEverymanâ player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintingsâbreathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.
We Are the Ship is a tour de force for baseball lovers of all ages.