by Scott Pitoniak and Rick Burton
Wilmeth Sidat-Singh is the greatest athlete you’ve never heard of. In addition to having a laser for an arm on the football field and electric moves on the basketball court, he was also a scholar, civil rights pioneer, patriot, and one other thing—forgotten.
In this historical novel based on Sidat-Singh’s life, sportswriter Breanna Shelton inadvertently comes upon the compelling life of a Syracuse University phenom who generations earlier had to hide his identity in order to play, then was forced to deal with the backlash amid the tension of race and sports in 1930s America.
As an aspiring Black woman building her career in a profession that doesn’t embrace her, Shelton finds a kindred spirit. She buries herself in research, committed to resurrecting an inspirational man whose name was long lost. In the process, she discovers courage and fortitude to transform herself and her goals.
Post–civil rights era society still wrestles with stiff obstacles that Sidat-Singh faced when he was “passing” to get on the field; flying as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II; and interacting with celebrities of his day, including Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Grantland Rice, Sam Lacy, and Joe Louis.
This fictionalized account, as timely now as ever, honors an American hero whose life ended too soon serving a country that didn’t see him as a full citizen because of the color of his skin. After you read this book, Sidat-Singh will be invisible no more.
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