Join us at Sons of Kent Brewery for the launch of 1934: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ Barrier-Breaking Year by Heidi LM Jacobs! Heidi will be featured in a panel conversation with filmmaker LeSean Harris, descendants of All-Stars players’ Blake Harding and Donald Tabron, and moderator Dr. Deirdre McCorkindale. Refreshments will be provided. The launch will take place on Wednesday, June 7 at 7PM.
More details here.
Order 1934 here!
The true story of the first Black team to win an Ontario Baseball Amateur Association championship.
The pride of Chatham’s East End, the Coloured All-Stars broke the colour barrier in baseball more than a decade before Jackie Robinson did the same in the Major Leagues. Fielding a team of the best Black baseball players from across southwestern Ontario and Michigan, theirs is a story that could only have happened in this particular time and place: during the depths of the Great Depression, in a small industrial town a short distance from the American border, home to one of the most vibrant Black communities in Canada.
Drawing heavily on scrapbooks, newspaper accounts, and oral histories from members of the team and their families, 1934: The Chatham Coloured All-Stars’ Barrier-Breaking Year shines a light on a largely overlooked chapter of Black baseball. But more than this, 1934 is the story of one group of men who fought for the respect that was too often denied them.
Rich in detail, full of the sounds and textures of a time long past, 1934 introduces the All-Stars’ unforgettable players and captures their winning season, so that it almost feels like you’re sitting there in Stirling Park’s grandstands, cheering on the team from Chatham.
Heidi LM Jacobs’ previous books include the novel Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear (NeWest Press, 2019), which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 2020, and 100 Miles of Baseball: Fifty Games, One Summer (with Dale Jacobs, Biblioasis, 2021). She is a librarian at the University of Windsor and one of the researchers behind the award-winning Breaking the Colour Barrier: Wilfred “Boomer” Harding & the Chatham Coloured All-Stars project.
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