Shameless Self-Promotion from Morrie Turner
At the 1936 Olympic Games in Germany, Jesse Owens won gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, and the 400-meter relay-and Adolph Hitler scrambled from his private box to avoid honoring the black athlete. During World War II, Joe Louis, heavyweight champion of the world, paid surprise visits to military hospitals. Though he later lost his title belt to the German Max Schmeling (which greatly pleased Hitler), when Louis died, broke, Schmeling used his wealth to pay for Louis's funeral. In the 1971 World Series, Roberto Clemete posted the greatest single performance by any player ever, making two impossible catches in the outfield, batting .414, and hitting seven singles, two doubles, one triple, and two homeruns. Clemente died the next year in a plane crash while flying relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Stories like these are testaments to the power of athletics to influence and inspire people, nations, and cultures. In Black Sports Heroes: Past and Present, author and cartoonist Morrie Turner skillfully presents cartoons and stories, known and unknown, about black athletes of all nations and the impact they had upon their sport and their world. Through his impressive combination of humor and fact, Turner brings "kid power" and "rainbow power" to life, showing us a world where all people, regardless of racial, religious, sexual, or physical differences, can live, learn, work, and play together.