The Wendell Smith Reader: Selected Writings on Sports, Civil Rights and Black History (Paperback)
With the world's eyes on Jackie Robinson, there were not many who noticed the sportswriter who traveled by the baseball star's side in 1946-47. Wendell Smith was a pioneer not only in writing, but in broadcast media as well, with a career that spanned 1937-1972 and included more than 1,500 written pieces.
After an extensive biographical sketch, this work presents a collection of Smith's writings. Chapters are organized to present him as one who chronicled Black history, traveled extensively, challenged racism, noted progress in racial relations, criticized friends, praised enemies, and bid farewell to notable figures who passed before him. Black athletes covered in his writings include Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Ernie Banks, and many more. When necessary, the editor provides commentary to provide context or illustrate key points.