Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together

Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together

by James Blake, Carol Taylor


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Inspired by Arthur Ashe’s bestselling memoir Days of Grace, a collection of positive, uplifting stories of seemingly small acts of grace from across the sports world that have helped to bridge cultural and racial divides.

Like many people of color, James Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand—publicly—first at the U.S. Open, and then in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street, where he was tackled and handcuffed by a police officer in a case of "mistaken identity." Though rage would have been justified, Blake faced both incidents with dignity and aplomb.

In Ways of Grace he reflects on his experiences and explores those of other sports stars and public figures who have not only overcome adversity, but have used them to unite rather than divide, including:

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, a Pakistani Muslim and Amir Hadad, an Israeli Jew, who despite the conflicts of their countries, paired together in the 2002 Wimbledon men’s doubles draw.

Muhammad Ali, who transcended racism with a magnetic personality and a breathtaking mastery of boxing that was unparalleled.

Nelson Mandela, who spent twenty-seven years in prison for his commitment to social reform, peace, and equality yet never gave up his battle to end apartheid—a struggle that led to his eventual freedom and his nation's transition to black majority rule.

Groundbreaking tennis legend Arthur Ashe, who was a model of courage, elegance, and poise on the court and off; a gifted player who triumphed in the all-white world of professional tennis, and became one of his generation's greatest players.

Weaving together these and other poignant and unforgettable stories, Blake reveals how, through seemingly small acts of grace, we can confront hatred, bigotry, and injustice with virtue—and use it to propel ourselves to greater heights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062354532
Publisher: HarperCollins US
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 479,757
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

James Blake has been a professional tennis player since 1999, when he left Harvard to join the professional tennis circuit. He grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, and currently resides in Tampa, Florida.

Carol Taylor is a bestselling author who has written nine books. A former Random House book editor, she lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Mistaken Identity 1

1 Early Trailblazers: Accidental Activists 27

2 Changing the Game: The Unifying Power of Sports 71

3 You Run Like a Girl: Gender Biases in Sports 117

4 Shut Up and Play: The Impetus and Social Ramifications of Sports Activism 133

5 More Than Just a Game: Sometimes the End Justifies the Means 169

6 A Personal Choice: The Athlete as Activist 189

Epilogue: The Power of Protest 207

Acknowledgments 219

Notes 221

Bibliography 227

Index 233

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