My first book, Blackout: The Untold Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Spring Training (University of Nebraska Press, 2004), was released as an audiobook a week ago. The narrator is New York actor and producer Peter Lerman.
Blackout chronicles Jackie Robinson’s tremendous ordeal during the crucial spring training of 1946, a full year away from breaking major league baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Blackout tells what happened during these six weeks in segregated Florida—six weeks that would become a critical juncture for the national pastime and for an American society on the threshold of a civil rights revolution. Robinson struggled on the field and off. The restaurants and hotels that welcomed his white teammates were closed to him, and in one city after another he was prohibited from taking the field. The Ku Klux Klan chased him out of one Florida town. This story encapsulates the larger history of a man, a sport, and a nation on the verge of great and enduring change.
Chris Lamb is a Professor in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI