Tag Archives: football

Between the Lines, How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery












Between the Lines, How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery
by Sandra Neil Wallace, illustrated by Bryan Collier
A Paula Wiseman Book, 2018

Born in segregated South Carolina, Ernie Barnes couldn’t wait until the rainy season, for he could paint pictures with a stick in the mud.  Not allowed into museums, he went to his mom’s place of work where he could look at books and art.  At six foot three, his high school football coach got him onto the team, where Ernie soon became captain.  His abilities earned him 26 college scholarships. He took the one he could learn art while playing football.  A beautifully told story of how Ernie became famous for his paintings of sports.  As a player, he included details non-players couldn’t know.  His first painting was called The Bench.  After his football career, his art career flourished.  An inspiring tale encouraging readers to never give up on their dreams and to be ready to work hard, in spite of roadblocks.

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The Stone Thrower












The Stone Thrower

by Jael Ealey Richardson, illustrated by Matt James
Groundwood Books, 2016

An inspiring, true story of Chuck Ealey who excelled at football when African American’s weren’t allowed to play.

A young boy living in the poor section of town, entertained himself by throwing rocks at the N on the N & W train cars that passed near his home.  At first he missed, but he taught himself how to hit the moving target every time.  His mom encouraged him to be like the trains that don’t stop until they get where they are going.  With her encouragement, he vowed to “…get out of the North End and get my education.”  In high school his coach asked him to be quarterback for his team.  He took a lot of grief for that, for many didn’t believe African Americans were smart enough to do that.  As quarterback, he won every high school game.  By 1971 he had won more games than any other quarterback in college football history.  Yet he wasn’t allowed to play on American professional teams, because of his skin color.  To achieve his dream, he left and played in Canada.

Inspiring story.  Moving illustrations are in pen and ink and splashes of bold acrylics.

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