An oral history of the fifty-year struggle to level football's playing fields
Long after Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, after Texas Western beat Kentucky to shake up the basketball world, America's black quarterbacks found themselves trapped on football's sidelines unable to play the game they loved unless they moved to wide receiver -- or to Canada. A collection of voices young and old, William C. Rhoden's Third and a Mile chronicles for the first time the heroic struggle to topple the sports world's staunchest racial barrier. Filled with personal anecdotes and firsthand recollections, the book includes testimony from NFL greats such as Warren Moon, Doug Williams, Vince Evans, James Harris, Marlin Briscoe, Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Daunte Culpepper, and Michael Vick.
The NFL's first five black quarterbacks -- Marlin Briscoe, James Harris, Vince Evans, Warren Moon, and Doug Williams -- have come together to form The Field Generals -- a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching and preserving the history of the African-American quarterback. These men have agreed to participate on all levels in the development and promotion of the book.
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William C. Rhoden has written a sports column for The New York Times since 1983. Prior to that, he worked at The Baltimore Sun and Ebony magazine. In the late'60s, he studied black quarterbacks up close as a starting defensive back on Morgan State University's football team. Rhoden lives with his wife and daughter in New York.
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