By Doug Merlino
Bloomsbury USA, $26.00, 320 pages
The history of civil rights needs to be looked at both as a society and as individuals. The Hustle: One Team and Ten Lives in Black & White looks at the history of civil rights in Seattle through the lens of school basketball. While looking at the history of civil rights, Merlino also looks at the effects and personal struggles of a team of basketball players, allowing us to put faces to the fight in general.
This is the way a book on civil rights should be written. The personal face of the struggle allows us to look at the personal toll, as well as to understand some of the issues in clearer detail. It also gives those not there a glimpse into why the rioting happened. This is all done by paralleling the struggle in general with that of the basketball team, and with some personal commentary that you don’t usually see in a history book. This combination makes this book an outstanding look on the fight for civil rights, and its cost in terms of personal lives, making it something that belongs on the bookshelves of anyone who questions why the fight is important.
Reviewed by Jamais Jochim