Howard Bryant

presents

The Heritage:
Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jun
11
Monday
June 11, 2018
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes ESPN writer and NPR sports correspondent HOWARD BRYANT for a discussion of his latest book, The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism.

About The Heritage

It used to be that politics and sports were as separate from one another as church and state. The ballfield was an escape from the world's worst problems, top athletes were treated like heroes, and cheering for the home team was as easy and innocent as hot dogs and beer. "No news on the sports page" was a governing principle in newsrooms.

That was then.

Today, sports arenas have been transformed into staging grounds for American patriotism and the hero worship of law enforcement. Teams wear camouflage jerseys to honor those who serve; police officers throw out first pitches; soldiers surprise their families with homecomings at halftime. Sports and politics are decidedly entwined.

But as journalist Howard Bryant reveals, this has always been more complicated for black athletes, who from the start, were committing a political act simply by being on the field. In fact, among all black employees in twentieth-century America, perhaps no other group had more outsized influence and power than ballplayers. The immense social responsibilities that came with the role is part of the black athletic heritage. It is a heritage built by the influence of the superstardom and radical politics of Paul Robeson, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Tommie Smith, and John Carlos through the 1960s; undermined by apolitical, corporate-friendly "transcenders of race," O. J. Simpson, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods in the following decades; and reclaimed today by the likes of LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, and Carmelo Anthony.

The Heritage is the story of the rise, fall, and fervent return of the athlete-activist. Through deep research and interviews with some of sports' best-known stars—including Kaepernick, David Ortiz, Charles Barkley, and Chris Webber—as well as members of law enforcement and the military, Bryant details the collision of post-9/11 sports in America and the politically engaged post-Ferguson black athlete.

Praise

“It may make people uncomfortable, but I’m pleased that Howard Bryant has chosen to tell the story of our heritage, and even more pleased that there are still ballplayers today who are willing to stand up for what they think is right.” —Henry Aaron, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer

“Serious times call for serious action. After leaving a communist totalitarian country when I was eighteen, I was free to speak out, and I did. The Heritage gives the clearest breakdown I’ve read on why we athletes not only have the right to advocate for what we believe in—but oftentimes a duty.” —Martina Navratilova, eighteen-time tennis Grand Slam winner

“If you believe that sports can be a lens for interpreting and understanding our world, then The Heritage is the Rosetta stone. Howard Bryant’s latest explains so much about racism and the black athlete’s place in US history that every chapter could be its own college course. But Bryant’s book is less history than twenty-first-century prophetic fire: a polemic homing in on the ways that militarism, sports, and black athletic resistance have become volcanically explosive in the era of Trump. This is the book for explaining our times, whether you give a damn about sports or not.” —Dave Zirin, sports editor, The Nation, and author of Jim Brown: Last Man Standing

Howard Bryant
Howard Bryant

Howard Bryant

Howard Bryant is a senior writer for ESPN and a sports correspondent for NPR. He is the author of several books including The Last Hero: A Life of Henry AaronShut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston, and the three-book Legends sports series for middle-grade readers. A two-time Casey Award winner for best baseball book of the year, Bryant was also a finalist for the Society for American Baseball Research Seymour Medal. In 2016, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award and received the Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
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Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
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FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

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Purchase the Book
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General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
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Accessibility Inquiries
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