One year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball in 1947, four black players joined the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams to become the first professional football players of African-American descent in the modern era. While blacks had played on professional teams in the early days of pro football, none had joined a team since 1934. In this book twelve players who began their careers from 1946 to 1955 not only reminisce about the violence they faced on and off the field, the segregated hotels and restaurants, and general hostility that comes with being a trailblazer, but also of white players and coaches who assisted and supported them at various stages of their lives. Among the oral histories presented here are those of such Hall of Famers Bill Willis, Joe Perry, and George Taliaferro.
Andy Piascik is an award-winning author whose articles have appeared in Z Magazine, The Indypendent, Jump Cut, and many other publications. For his book The Best Show in Football: The 1946-1955 Cleveland Browns, Pro Football's Greatest Dynasty (also published by Taylor Trade Publishing), he received the Professional Football Researchers Association's Nelson Ross Award. He is a member of the National Writers Union.