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Davis Sterling, scion of Houston’s leading newspaper family, was enjoying the playboy life until his father challenges him to make something of himself. Always a talented writer, his rebellious streak leads him to sports writing, a craft without the status in the 1940s that it has today, and one he knew would drive his farther crazy. With the help of the Houston Star’s elevator man, he finds a team worth covering. But he never thought it would lead him to meet the first white man to play in the Negro Baseball Leagues. And he didn’t expect it to bring him the woman of his dreams.

Brilliant, beautiful, and black, Leola Jones always knew she was destined for more than raising babies in her rural Florida hometown. But she never dreamed she’d become the first woman owner of a professional sports team in America. Barnstorming begins in Eatonville, Florida, one of America’s original Brown Towns, a quiet self-governing community of Black farmers and small businesspeople. Leola and her extended family fight racism and repression in deadly attacks by the Klan there – attacks that continue from the Texas police and in the genteel homes of Houston’s elite. They break new ground and hold it, sometimes against all odds.

We follow the Negro League baseball team Leola’s father founded move from Florida to Texas, where Leola, her childhood friend Clarence Holloman, and “Uncle” Isaac Manns build the Catfish into a contender, and then a champion. They know they need a star pitcher and find one, a white farm boy who has the stuff. But can he win over his teammates, the players on the other team, and ultimately the world of Texas barnstorming baseball? They do. With the pitcher his teammates nickname “Milk Man”, they forge bonds and stand together. Some may work as valets at country clubs to make ends meet, but they win as a team.

Davis Sterling’s columns about them attract new readers, winning his skeptical father’s respect. That respect helps not only Davis, but Leola, Clarence, and the entire team. 1950s Houston is changing rapidly, chasing its dream to become the Capital of the New South. But Leola and her Catfish see what white people call tradition for what it is: another name for the racial bigotry that has cost her family dearly. It never stops rearing its head, and Leola never stops rising above it. Davis’s interest in the team quickly turns from baseball to romance, his columns about her team morphing from box scores to love letters.

As they grow ever closer, integration costs Leola her team, and stories bigger than baseball compete for Davis’s attention. All the while, the drumbeat of racist violence still stands Texas tall, threatening their love at every turn. Barnstorming asks its own groundbreaking questions. What happens when a game with rules and umpires meets a world where only power matters? How strong do people have to be to rise up together? Does love truly conquer hate? From police raids on juke joints to closed doors at country clubs, and on rides in a rickety old school bus from overgrown baseball fields to Houston’s historic stadiums, our story moves from Brown Town to Cow Town, to Harlem and back.

We see overt racism and its cost, and the polite racism that pulls the invisible strings backstage. We witness an interracial love affair at a time and in a place where its mere mention is a rallying cry for violence, and watch as insidious racism preys on young love, looking for its weakest link. Will it destroy that love? What does victory mean when the forward steps of integration quickly bring new games, and new challenges? What traditions carry us forward, and which ones hold us back?



Publié par
Date de parution 12 juillet 2021
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781880765739
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0200€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


A Negro Baseball Story

Jonathan Carroll
A Negro Baseball Story

By Jonathan Carroll
Copyright © 2021 Jonathan Carroll
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information and retrieval systems without prior permission from the publisher in writing. The views and opinions expressed in this book are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Carroll, Jonathan, 1967-
Barnstorming: A Negro Baseball Story
/ Jonathan Carroll.
ISBN Paperback: 9781880765746
ISBN eBook: 9781880765739

Cover and Interior Layout:
Manuscript Editor:
Manuscript Designer:

Published in the USA by Twin Flame Productions LLC, 2021 under the World of Empowerment imprint. World of Empowerment is an imprint of Twin Flame Productions LLC
Address all inquiries via eMail to
Or phone +1-224-588-8026
Warning—Limits of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The author and publisher shall not be liable for your misuse of the material in this book. This book is strictly for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. The author and/or publisher do not guarantee or warrant that anyone following the techniques, suggestions, tips, ideas, or strategies in this book will become successful at anything. The author and/or publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to anyone with respect to any loss or damage howsoever caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this book. Always consult a licensed health practitioner for all health issues.
Barnstorming, A Negro Baseball Story
Although the Eatonville Catfish team exists only in this book of fiction, the dedication and sacrifices of those who pioneered in the Negro League are anything but fictitious. We appreciate their courage and efforts, blazing the trail for future generations.
Quote from the book

“You have done great things in Texas. I know; I saw them” ~ Isaac Maans
By Jonathan Carroll

Barnstorming is a novel, historic fiction. It is about race—blacks and whites growing up and living in the South during a time of cultural change. The story is also about love, honor, perseverance and understanding with a backdrop of an often violent and horrific era in United States history—a history that often ended in tragedy. This was a time of lynching, of unspeakable hatred. And yet, there were many who stood up to the wrongs and worked hard to make them right.
I hope Barnstorming lives up to the charge of showing the good and the bad, the complexities of bias, and the triumph of so many Americans. People of many colors and backgrounds have worked to make our country and the world a better place for all.
The sport (and the business of baseball) for people of color has had a relatively short history. The first professional black baseball team, the Cuban Giants, was formed in 1885. Professional leagues were formed soon after but failed due to poor attendance. Barnstorming, traveling around to small towns with weekend games, brought the leagues to the people. Talented young men had a chance to show their stuff, but finances were always a problem as games were not played in big forums where large audiences supported the teams’ expenses.
The First Negro Southern League ran from 1920 to 1936 and was the only league that was able to complete their scheduled full season. The Negro National League was formed in 1933; they played in larger cities and were able to attract the best players. The leagues experienced success and failure in the mid-1940s when the white baseball leagues started to recruit black players. But in 1950 the black leagues lost their major status as integration had begun.
Jackie Robinson was the first man of color to play in Major League Baseball. He walked onto Ebbetts Field as first baseman of the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. He had started his career in baseball two years earlier with the Kansas City Monarchs and a contract of $400 per month. His skills and values, on and off the field, are legendary. His commitment to nonviolence influenced the Civil Rights Movement’s approach during their fight for change. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
There were still race-biased inequities in the 1960s. At his induction speech in 1966, Ted Williams spoke with passion for the Baseball Hall of Fame to include more Negro league stars in the Hall.

I need to say a very special thank you to my friend and legal consultant John O’Brien. When I told him that I was going to attempt to create this book, he was 100% full steam ahead. He supported me, not only with the legal matters, but also as a story consultant, editor, and all-around support system. Thank you so much, John.
A special thank you to Gail Honeystein who from the very beginning fully believed in my vision. She supported and encouraged me to push myself and was willing to take this long journey with me.
Susan Ferris / Bohemia Group, who without hesitation was willing to support and represent my interest regarding this book from very early on. Her support has touched me in ways that are very hard to express. Thank you for having my back, Susan.
Ebony magazine for allowing me to reproduce their pages on Eatonville, Florida and assisting me in bringing the Brown Town of 1946 back to life.
To my father, Alfred Carroll, Jr., and my sister, Alicia Carroll, for their continued support and encouragement to create the book that was in my heart.
And, of course, I thank my mother, Jacqueline Leola Carroll, for her inspiration, wisdom, love, life and guidance. But, most of all for instilling in me the belief that I only need to march to the beat of my own drum and stay true to myself despite all the negative outside influences that try to convince me otherwise. I am a very thankful and lucky man to have been given such precious gifts.
A big thank you also to Artisha Dottin, Brian & Patty Fitzpatrick, Cameron Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth (Bit) Engelman, Gerald Hamdani, Jacqueline Leola Carroll, Jennifer Bingham,
Jim Conlon, John Forcier, Keith David, Lowell Partridge, Lynn Martin Kerr, Richard Engelman, and Robert Goldman.
And to Barbara Shope, Cassandra Woody, Chrissy & Brian Rossini, ChristoTsiaras, Janis Peterson, John & Susanne Stadtler, Julie & Mark Robarts, Kim Roderiques, Nancy Viall Shoemaker, Peter Schlessel, Peter Stacey, Susan Yule, Yusaku Takase.
Special Thanks
Tom Martorelli not only worked on the historic context, but was invaluable in character development, editing and developing the story and characters, placing them in the historical context of the American South in the 1940s and ‘50s. He was an amazing storyline consultant and was a driving force in the creation of this book.
Dark Days

It was a typical muggy evening in Central Florida in the summer of 1929. The air was hot. The skies were clear—full of moonlight. But the night wasn’t quiet. Field hands were excited: the fruits of their labor were about to pay off. The strawberry crop was ready to be picked.
The interesting thing about strawberry harvests is that they're done at night. Harvesting strawberries during the cool of the night yields a better crop than in the heat of the sun. There’s less bruising of the fruit and the berries just seem to taste sweeter.
On this particular evening in Winter Park, all you could see when you looked out across the fields were lanterns, moving around like fireflies, glowing and dancing in the darkness. The workers were singing Negro spirituals as generations had before them. But these songs were not signals to runaway slaves on their journeys to freedom as in the past. Tonight, the spirituals were being sung by the pickers to keep each other company—to feel a connection with each other while working in the fields with their lanterns and the moonlight guiding them in the harvest.
Night harvests were good-paying money as far as coloreds were concerned. It was hard work—truly for the young and the very fit.
Harvesting in the dark made the work more difficult. Not many older folk were out there; it was mostly women doing the picking, young men doing the hauling, and some poor whites who were looked at as no better than the coloreds.
For no particularly good reason, the Klan decided it was time to show the local coloreds just who was in charge and the strawberry harvest was the perfect target. Without warning, out of the dark, men in masks and hoods came from all directions. Some were riding horses, some were driving pick-ups, and some were on foot. In seconds they filled the field and started beating coloreds with bats and chains and butts of handguns and shotguns.
When it was over, fields were on fire from broken lanterns. There were injured colored men all over—many close to death. There was no telling in the dark who was there and who got away. The fields looked like a war zone.
At the crack of dawn the next morning, Columbus Jones, who happened to be the Mayor of Eatonville, a neighboring town to Winter Park, saw a car barreling up the road.

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