Danielle's Reviews > We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson
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Apr 21, 2012

really liked it

We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball is the story of gifted athletes, racial discrimination, sportsmanship, wins and losses, both on and off the field. Nelson tells the story of Negro League Baseball from the start in the 1920’s to its end in 1947 when Jackie Robinson switched over to the majors. Baseball began in the middle of the nineteenth century and by the 1860s most professional teams were all white with only a few players of color. By the late 1800’s African American players were no longer on professional teams. Rube Foster started the Negro League Baseball in 1920. It was a different kind of baseball, “Negro baseball was fast! Flashy! Daring! Sometimes it was even funny,” (Nelson, 2008, p. 17). Life in the Negro League was hard as they had to ride all day to reach the game and travel back all night because they were not welcome in many places. During the Great Depression the players would play night games to earn money for their families. The book then moves on to talk about some of the best and most influential players, including players who came from Latin America. During the Major League’s off season the Negro League would play them and win sixty percent of the time. When the Major League Baseball commissioner died he integrated baseball. The book ends with the story of Jackie Robinson and how his crossover to the Major Leagues killed the Negro League, but everyone was happy that after fifty years American Americans were allowed to play again.
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