How Crispus Attucks Basketball Broke Racial Barriers and Jolted the World
Author: Phillip Hoose
One city. One team. One victory for racial justice that the history books forgot.
1955, Indianapolis—a northern American city, a hotbed of Jim Crow laws, and a national high school basketball epicenter. Crispus Attucks High School, an all-Black school founded thirty years earlier by the Ku Klux Klan–infected school board in the name of segregation, has not been lucky in the state tournament. The odds have been stacked against them, with no gym of their own, a weak schedule, and racially biased referees. But in 1955, they've finally assembled a powerhouse squad of ten Black boys, each one a migrant raised in poverty in the South, born to families who came North to escape Jim Crow in the South and were shocked by the city they found.
Led by superstar Oscar Robertson, the 1955 Tigers may be unbeatable. As they advance through the state tournament, they seem poised to win. And a largely white city is forced to decide: Can they accept a team of Black champions? Indeed, the Tigers' road to victory is paved with injustice going back decades—and their hard-earned success will shatter the myth of their inferiority.
From Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning author Phillip Hoose comes this true story of the first all-Black team in U.S. history to win a racially open championship tournament—a new classic in the civil rights canon about resilience, teamwork, and the struggle to overcome impossible systemic odds, one game at a time.
An ALA Notable Book of 2019
NYPL Best Book for Teens of 2018
A 2018 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice
A Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature Best Book of 2018
A Kirkus Reviews Best YA Nonfiction Book of 2018
An ALSC Notable Children's Book of 2019
A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Nominee