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We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Published by Jump At The Sun
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Publisher Summary

“We are the ship; all else the sea.”-Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball.

Using an “Everyman” player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintings-breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.

We Are the Ship is a tour de force for baseball lovers of all ages.

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Who Wrote We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

author & illustrator
Kadir Nelson View Author

What Has Kadir Nelson Said About This Book

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Did This Book Win Any Awards

You bet it did. Check it out below!

  • 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award

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Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
January 8, 2008