A little known civil rights hero and college football MVP finally gets a voice in this fictional account detailing Chester Pierce’s game-changing play as he became the first black college football player to compete south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In 1947, no African American player can play at a southern school; in return, the opposing team benches a player of “equal talent.” This historical fiction picture book frames a turbulent time in the civil rights era with the clever use of a football play to show race relations and teamwork. Inspired by a true story, capturing a historic defense against the Jim Crow laws of the South.
Gloria Respress-Churchwell has an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College and has produced and directed documentaries at the Nashville Film Festival including award-winner <i>The Life of Robert Churchwell: The Jackie Robinson of Journalism </i>and <i>From Sag to Swag: The Power of Dress. </i>She is a co-contributor of the Robert Churchwell Journalism Collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Laura Freeman received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and began her career illustrating for various editorial clients. Laura has illustrated many fine children’s books over the years, including Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe, written by Deborah Blumenthal, and the Coretta Scott King Honor book Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race, by Margot Lee Shetterly. Laura now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their two children. Find out more about Laura at www.lfreemanart.com.