An invaluable and inspiring compilation that shines a light on unsung athletes of color.
Sports have long been used as a vehicle for change, as a way to break down barriers and foster greater understanding. But while we know the stories of trailblazers like Jackie Robinson, just as important are the journeys of lesser-known athletes who used sports as a platform to fight injustice, racism, and discrimination.
In Remember Their Sacrifice: Stories of Unheralded Athletes of Color, Arif Khatib and Pete Elman share the extraordinary stories of a special group of athletes, of their struggles, achievements, and incredible impact on the world of sports and beyond. It includes Pumpsie Green, the first Black player for the Red Sox; Alice Coachman, the first Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal; Sammy Lee, the great Asian American diver who won Olympic gold; Toni Stone and Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, two women who played in baseball’s Negro Leagues; Billy Mills, a Native American icon who won Olympic gold in the 10,000 meters; and many more.
Featuring an array of sports such as boxing, track and field, golf, auto racing, basketball, football, soccer, and baseball, as well as exclusive interviews with the authors, Remember Their Sacrifice elevates these pioneering athletes to their deserved position in the pantheon of sports.
Arif Khatib has owned a record label, a publishing company, a concert production company, and a boxing promotion company; developed minority business enterprises; produced documentaries; and worked as a radio host. In 2000, Khatib created the African American Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame. He has been a fixture in the Bay Area African American community for 50 years.
Pete Elman is a journalist, author, musician, and teacher. He has worked as a performer, composer, studio musician, recording artist and producer; written music for TV and film; and released acclaimed instrumental albums. As a sports journalist, Elman worked for the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune, and is a regular contributor to the Ultimate Sports Guide. He is currently teaching courses on popular music at Bay Area universities.
Remember Their Sacrifice is of historical value in content—and not only for people of color, but also for society. The book not only tells the stories of many of our great sports figures in history, it addresses their pain on the road to greatness. It is a must read to understand why we must stay focused, and make this society understand that we must all commit to a just society and make things better for generations to come.
Another outstanding effort by the authors. The ability to go into our history and bring each one of these courageous individuals forward in this intimate and unique way is noteworthy. A great educational tool for all of us. Good work.
Pioneers have altered America’s outlook on medicine, technology, and cultural movements across its fruited plain. Athletes are pioneers, too, in blazing trails, especially those who struggled for inclusion. Arif Khatib and Pete Elman have co-authored an important testimonial to notable figures of color who showed the way not only for their brethren, but for the country as a whole.
Authors Arif Khatib and Pete Elman's words are carefully minted over a lifetime of observation and reflection, chronicling special memories of special athletes, some famous and others not so, who moved sports forward in positive ways. These sports champions, fulfilling their life's roles, were mostly unaware of their contributions at the time and the changes they were crafting for history. Remember Their Sacrifice honors their triumphs and struggles, drawing upon moving personal accounts and records.
Beyond the lionized sports heroes, there is also a treasure trove of other tales in sports history: ones which tell equally powerful narratives both poignant and pugnacious. Now we have a book to introduce a new generation of readers to those who we should count among the true changemakers in sports history. Remember Their Sacrifice brings to life the many whose triumphs have for too long been buried. These are the trailblazers and they deserve to be not only treasured but examined so we can learn the lessons of their mighty accomplishments; triumphs over not only opponents on the field of play but also over an unequal society set up to hold them back.
Remember Their Sacrifice is a masterful and inspiring tribute to athletes of color who triumphed against the odds. It should be required reading for young athletes of any color, to know upon whose sacrifices and shoulders they stand.
Great book! Arif has taken his life achievements and interactions with Black legends and put them in a book for today's sports enthusiast and future generations to read and enjoy. Well-researched and compellingly written, Remember their Sacrifice tells the story of the journey, struggles, and achievements of a special group of unheralded athletes of color in every sport. Their stories are profound and unforgettable.
11/19/22, Publishers Weekly: This book was featured in a roundup of diverse reads.
11/29/22, Sports Book Reviews: This book was highlighted in a roundup of highly anticipated sports books.
6/21/23, Post News Group: Arif Khatib and Pete Elman are interviewed for this feature article about the book.
12/28/23, Edge of Sports on The Real News Network: Arif Khatib joins Dave Zirin to discuss the book.