THE RHYTHM BOYS OF OMAHA CENTRAL ~ High School Basketball at the \'68 Racial Divide
Book review and technical detail THE RHYTHM BOYS OF OMAHA CENTRAL ~ High School Basketball at the \'68 Racial Divide Steve Marantz
|Technical detail of THE RHYTHM BOYS OF OMAHA CENTRAL ~ High School Basketball at the \'68 Racial Divide|
|Title||THE RHYTHM BOYS OF OMAHA CENTRAL ~ High School Basketball at the \'68 Racial Divide|
|Category||Entertainment & Sports|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
A aberrant annual involving George Wallace, chase relations and high-school basketball in Omaha, Neb. ESPN researcher, above announcer and Omaha Central alum Marantz (Sorcery at Caesars: Sugar Ray’s Marvelous Fight, 2008) walks a accomplished band amidst candid anchorman and animated actor in cogent the adventure of the 1968 Omaha Central boys’ basketball team, a accomplished aggregation added notable for its absurd role in the carpeting of the civil-rights movement than its on-court success. Featuring a attenuate all-black starting agency led by brilliant Dwaine Dillard, the “Rhythm Boys” (a appellation both stylishly applicable and around racist) burst opponents in a association that apparent an apparent altruism of ancestral and religious differences but featured audibly abstracted white, atramentous and Jewish neighborhoods. On the eve of the accompaniment playoffs, a appointment from segregationist presidential applicant George Wallace lit the cat-and-mouse bout of ancestral tension, arch to a alternation of riots and the arrest of Dillard, who was either out to abuse Wallace or artlessly in the amiss abode at the amiss time. Regardless, the agitated contest batty the team’s championship hopes, as a abiding angst spurred by Dillard’s off-court troubles bedevilled them adjoin a less-talented but sharper-shooting aggregation in the appellation game. Marantz’s meandering annual wants for added arresting in-game descriptions of the team’s prowess, and the blurred band amidst the author’s role as a announcer chronicling the contest and a acquaintance of his capacity makes for a abstruse composition. Still, the columnist spotlights a camp circle of sports, ability and backroom amidst a airy decade that cautiously highlights how momentous, community-changing contest could action far abroad from the ablaze lights of above city areas. Despite a sometimes abashed narrative, Marantz presents an ultimately acute snapshot of an era—and a city—in the affliction of amusing upheaval.
In the spring of 1968, the Omaha Central High School basketball team made history with its first all-black starting lineup. Their nickname, the Rhythm Boys, captured who they were and what they did on the court. Led by star center Dwaine Dillard, the Rhythm Boys were a shoo-in to win the state championship. But something happened on their way to glory. In early March, segregationist George Wallace, in a third-party presidential bid, made a campaign stop in Omaha. By the time he left town, Dillard was in jail, his coach was caught between angry political factions, and the city teetered on the edge of racial violence. So began the Nebraska state high school basketball tournament the next day, caught in the vise of history. The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central tells a true story about high school basketball, black awakening and rebellion, and innocence lost in a watershed year. The drama of civil rights in 1968 plays out in this riveting social history of sports, politics, race, and popular culture in the American heartland.
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