Note: Take anything you’ve heard about the 1970 USC-Alabama game (besides the final score and Sam Cunningham running for 135 yards and two touchdowns) as a pivotal moment and hit the delete button. The rest of the tale has been embellished by revisionist history with myths and outright fiction at the expense of the true 1960s pioneers.
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|Mark Black History Month with Raye of Light
|When Jimmy Raye enrolled at Michigan State University in 1964, he did more than just enroll in a university hundreds of miles from his native Fayetteville, N.C.: he was part of a groundbreaking movement that changed college football forever.
Now, as we mark our annual Black History Month this February, his story and the stories of his teammates like Bubba Smith and George Webster make for some fascinating reading in Tom Shanahan’s Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, The Integration of College Football, and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans. History has not accorded Coach Daugherty, Raye, and the Spartans proper credit for their roles in the integration of college football. Too many view Daugherty as recruiting a couple of All-American players from the South, winning a bunch of games with his 1965-66 teams and then having it all come to an end.
The Michigan State team with a progressive head coach, a pioneer black quarterback, and the first fully integrated roster in college football is the subject of this engrossing book by award-winning author Tom Shanahan.
In Raye of Light, Shanahan tells how Daugherty integrated his Spartan teams in a time when leading college programs like the University of Alabama and the University of Texas were still segregated, when it was unusual to see black athletes at skill positions like quarterback, and when choices for outstanding Southern black athletes were either traditionally black colleges or a select group of northern colleges opening their doors to nationwide recruits.
If you’re already read and enjoyed Raye of Light, here’s a little tease for you. Author Tom Shanahan has been working on a follow-up book focusing on the broader topic of college-football integration in the 1960s and how it was influenced by Daugherty as well as the coaching tree he developed and supported. With former assistant coaches and players like Bill Yeoman, Chuck Fairbanks, Sherman Lewis and Tyrone Willingham desegregating college programs and breaking racial barriers, Daugherty’s impact was felt far beyond Michigan State University. We anticipated a September 2022 release; keep watching this newsletter for details.
To mark Black History Month, we’ve lowered the price of Raye of Light to $15.95. Check it out here. You can also buy it from Amazon, albeit at a higher price.
|Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, The Integration of College Football, and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans$15.95Buy Now
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|August Publications | 608-886-9923