The Story Behind the Book
A couple of years ago, when I began researching my second book, I had no title in mind, no contacts, and little to go on. The central figure, Dr. Ralph Wimbish, did not even have a Wikipedia page. What I did have was an article I came across during my research of Alex Haley, the subject of my first book. Before he was a famous author, Haley was the ultimate freelancer, literally contracting himself out to any magazine who’d take him.
In 1961, SPORT magazine, a now defunct publication that was the precursor to Sports Illustrated, had contracted Haley to write a story about segregation in Major League Baseball’s annual spring training. Although African American players could be with whites together on the field, once the game or practice was over, it was off to separate quarters, adhering to the local Jim Crow laws.
In St. Petersburg, Florida, where the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals were based, Dr. Wimbish, a local African American physician, took a public stand against the segregated conditions that black players were forced to endure. His position made headlines across the country. Alex Haley went to St. Petersburg to cover the man and the event. The article he penned not only ignited the idea for Under One Roof, but became the foundation of my research. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Now available at Amazon in eBook and paperback, click here to purchase Under One Roof: The Yankees, the Cardinals, and a Doctor’s Battle to Integrate Spring Training.
Early reviews for Under One Roof:
“There should be a life-size statue of Dr. Ralph Wimbish on the streets of St. Petersburg. Dr. Wimbish was to this city what Dr. Martin Luther King was to the country. Adam Henig’s terrific new book, Under One Roof, beautifully tells the whole inspirational story.”
– Peter Golenbock, author of The Bronx Zoo: The Astonishing Inside Story of the 1978 World Champion New York Yankees and Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
“Adam Henig’s painstaking research shines a light on a special man, Dr. Ralph Wimbish, whose courage and resolve eased some of the pain brought by racial segregation. Under One Roof is a baseball book—and much more.”
– Bill Stevens, Tampa Bay Times
“This book is quite a discovery. It is a piece of history that was so accepted at the time and, until now, forgotten in the present.”
– EvilCyclist, Book Blogger
“You don’t have to be a sports fan to appreciate this book. This is another little slice of history that all of us can appreciate.”
–The Book Sage, Book Blogger
Return of Roots
Also, don’t forget to watch or program the remake of Roots, featuring Laurence Fishburne as “Alex Haley” and Forrest Whitaker as “Fiddler” (Kunta Kinte’s friend). The film is co-produced by Mark Wolper (son of David Wolper, the late producer from the original series) and LeVar Burton, who played the first Kunta Kinte.
The series begins Memorial Day. The New York Times put together an infographic about the history and impact of the original Roots mini-series. Click here to view it.