Shades of Glory: The Story of the Negro Leagues and African-American Baseball, by Lawrence D. Hogan is exactly what its title promises. If you want to learn a lot about the history of black people playing baseball in America, Shades of Glory is for you.
The book chronicles the experiences of black people who played baseball from the 1860s through the beginning of the 1960s, when the negro leagues died.
As you may suspect, the book also tells some of the terrible story that is America. It details the few black men who played with white players in the 1880s, the hardening of the color line, the struggles to develop organized negro league baseball, Jackie Robinson signing with the Dodgers, and the negro leagues going out of business.
At the end of the book is a ton of statistical information about the players and the leagues. If you are a fan of baseball history, you will really appreciate that aspect of the book.
Even though I’m a big fan of baseball and its history, Shades of Glory was educational for me. Since it constantly reminds the reader of America’s terrible racist history, the book is not always an easy read. But if you like baseball and history, and you want to learn more about the negro leagues, Shades of glory will be worth your time.