Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central: High School Basketball At the '68 Racial Divide

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U of Nebraska Press, 2011 - Sports & Recreation - 264 pages
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In the spring of 1968, the Omaha Central High School basketball team made history with its first all-black starting lineup. Their nickname, the Rhythm Boys, captured who they were and what they did on the court. Led by star center Dwaine Dillard, the Rhythm Boys were a shoo-in to win the state championship. But something happened on their way to glory.¾ ¾ In early March, segregationist George Wallace, in a third-party presidential bid, made a campaign stop in Omaha. By the time he left town, Dillard was in jail, his coach was caught between angry political factions, and the city teetered on the edge of racial violence. So began the Nebraska state high school basketball tournament the next day, caught in the vise of history. The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central tells a true story about high school basketball, black awakening and rebellion, and innocence lost in a watershed year. The drama of civil rights in 1968 plays out in this riveting social history of sports, politics, race, and popular culture in the American heartland.
 

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Must read! Great story. Engaging, exciting, and entertaining.

Contents

1 First Bell
1
2 Tears of a Clown
19
3 Summer of 67
35
4 Just Their Imagination
53
5 So Glad They Made It
73
6 Get on Board
89
7 Jupiter Aligns
103
8 A Mongrel Unit
123
10 Darkness Darkness
161
11 The Broken Hearted
175
12 Last Bell
195
13 Their Beat Goes On
213
Postscript
219
Acknowledgments
229
Index
235
Copyright

9 Wallace for President
141

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About the author (2011)

Steve Marantz is an Omaha Central graduate and the author of Sorcery at Caesars: Sugar Rayês Marvelous Fight. A researcher for ESPN Content Development and E:60, and a coeditor of sportsmediaguide.com, he formerly covered sports, government, and politics for the Kansas City Star, the Boston Globe, and the Boston Herald. Susie Buffett, a 1971 graduate of Omaha Central, is the eldest of Warren Buffettês three children and runs the not-for-profit Sherwood Foundation.

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