Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City-Jay Jennings

  • Title: Carry the Rock: Race, Football, and the Soul of an American City
  • Author: Jay Jennings
  • Released: 2011-08-30
  • Language:
  • Pages: 280
  • ISBN: 1609611845
  • ISBN13:
  • ASIN: B00B9ZX0FC


From High-school sports—like sports at every level—are seldom just about competition. Politics, money, ambition, and race are often as important as speed and strength. Jennings, a Sports Illustrated veteran, shadowed the football program at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 2007 season. It wasn’t just any season; it was the fiftieth anniversary of the 1957 integration of the school. He traces the tumultuous racial machinations of the Little Rock school district through the years, noting the white migration to the suburbs and the rise of private schools, which serve as a haven for those who wish to avoid the mostly black public-school system. In this often-difficult environment, head coach Bernie Cox built a football powerhouse around discipline, accountability, citizenship, and tradition. But the anniversary year of 2007 would not be an easy one. The kids, seemingly divorced from the winning tradition, never bonded as teammates or, perhaps, were just not as talented as their predecessors. Jennings takes readers on a thoughtful, sometimes disheartening tour of urban high-school athletics, a tour that provides no answers but raises all the right questions. --Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review “Jennings writes . . . with authority and power.” New York Times Book Review
 “A rich portrait of a complicated place and its people.” Arkansas Times “Carry the Rock transcends the season-on-the-brink genre.” The Wall Street Journal  “A great sports book” Arkansas Leader “A native son juxtaposes passion for football and the tumultuous history of race relations in Little Rock. The result is a must-read page-turner.”—Minnijean Brown Trickey, Little Rock Nine member “Because history has decreed a special role for Little Rock Central High, its Tigers have become more than your typical football team. Like the community and the school, they, too, are caught up in forces—racial, social, demographic, economic—that are larger than themselves. This book is an absorbing, touching chronicle of Coach Bernie Cox’s struggling 2007 Tiger team.” —David Margolick, author of Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock  “A sweeping yet nuanced portrait of race in America— a picture of how far we have come since the Little Rock Nine made their historic stand and of how far we still have to go.” —Jonathan Mahler, author of Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning