Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on...

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT

COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND THE POLITICS OF RAPE

Investigative reporting that uncovers the rape culture surrounding college sports, particularly football.

Drawing on the sports playbook idea, where one play combined with another and another leads to a single, unified, successful act, Luther writes about the prevalence of rape and assault on college campuses as a combination of many factors. She discusses the role coaches, universities, sponsors, the police, and other authority figures play in perpetuating a subculture in which the aggressive acts of sports players, particularly gifted football stars, are often ignored because “boys will be boys.” She delves into many cases, giving graphic details from victims of the abuse, often from multiple attackers, and then discusses the lack of support for the victims, the fears they often have after the attack, and the dismissiveness of so many toward the victims, which allows the perpetrators to continue as if nothing had happened. Luther explains how many schools turn the other way when confronted with a possible assault case even though they have a legal obligation to investigate the attack under federal Title IX laws. “The idea that universities don’t care about victims is perceived to be worse whenever the accused is a high-profile athlete,” she writes, “someone the school has a serious financial and emotional stake in.” As Luther, who helped break the story about sexual assaults on the campus of Baylor University, points out, college sports (especially football) generate billions of dollars in revenue, and the idea of the game often unifies many small towns that would otherwise remain divided. Distressing to read, even more so when one learns how many college abusers have gone on to join the NFL, Luther’s research into rape on campuses is an important exposé demonstrating that the problem still lies within the male locker room. The book is particularly timely in the wake of recent allegations at Baylor and Stanford.

Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61775-491-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Edge of Sports/Akashic

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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