Wil Haygood Author Event & Book Launch | September 23

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Bexley High School

326 South Cassingham Road

Columbus, OH 43209

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On September 23 at 3:00 pm, Bexley Public Library will welcome award-winning author and journalist Wil Haygood to Bexley High School's Schottenstein Theatre to discuss his forthcoming book, Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing. Launching his national book tour, Haygood will share the story of Columbus' own East High School Tigers, who won baseball and basketball state championships in the midst of the racial turbulence and segregation of the late 1960s and inspired a community. Haygood will be interviewed by Mike Curtin, former managing editor and associate publisher emeritus for The Columbus Dispatch and former member of the Ohio House of Representatives for the 17th District.

Tickets are free, but must be reserved through Eventbrite. Copies of Tigerland, in addition to other titles by Haygood, will be available for purchase. A book signing will follow the presentation. Doors will open at 2:00 pm.

Bexley Public Library offers this author visit in partnership with Bexley City Schools, Bexley Community Foundation, Capital University, and Gramercy Books.

About Wil Haygood

Wil Haygood is currently a Visiting Distinguished Professor in the department of media, journalism, and film at Miami University, Ohio. For nearly three decades he was a journalist, serving as a national and foreign correspondent at The Boston Globe, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, and then at The Washington Post. He is the author of The Butler: A Witness to History; Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America; Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson; In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr; Two on the River; King of the Cats: The Life and Times of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.; and The Haygoods of Columbus: A Family Memoir. The Butler was later adapted into the critically acclaimed film directed by Lee Daniels, starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, and the 2017 Patrick Henry Fellowship Literary Award for his research on Tigerland. He lives in Washington, D.C.

About Tigerland

An emotional, inspiring story of two teams from a poor, black, segregated high school in Ohio, who, in the midst of the racial turbulence of 1968/1969, win the Ohio state baseball and basketball championships in the same year.

1968 and 1969: Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy are assassinated. Race relations are frayed like never before. Cities are aflame as demonstrations and riots proliferate. But in Columbus, the Tigers of segregated East High School win the baseball and basketball championships, defeating bigger, richer, whiter teams across the state. Now, Wil Haygood gives us a spirited and stirring account of this improbable triumph and takes us deep into the personal lives of these local heroes: Robert Wright, power forward, whose father was a murderer; Kenny Mizelle, the Tigers' second baseman, who grew up under the false impression that his father had died; Eddie "Rat" Ratleff, the star of both teams, who would play for the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team. We meet Jack Gibbs, the first black principal at East High; Bob Hart, the white basketball coach, determined to fight against the injustices he saw inflicting his team; the hometown fans who followed the Tigers to stadiums across the state. And, just as important, Haygood puts the Tigers' story in the context of the racially charged late 1960s. The result is both an inspiring sports story and a singularly illuminating social history.


Will books will be available for purchase?

Copies of Wil Haygood's books will be available for purchase before and after the program courtesy of Gramercy Books.

I'm a teacher and would like to request a block of seats for my students.

Teachers interested in bringing groups of students should contact the Library: (614) 545-6942 or authorseries@bexleylibrary.org.

Can I reserve a ticket at the door?

If the event is not yet full, you may reserve a ticket onsite. Please know that there are a limited number of seats and that ticket availability may be limited. No entry is allowed without a ticket.

May I choose my seat?

Yes, you may select your seats based on what is available.

Can accommodations be made for guests with disabilities?

Guests with disabilities may contact the Library to request tickets with handicap-accessible seating or to request any other necessary accommodations: (614) 545-6942 or authorseries@bexleylibrary.org.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You may bring your printed or electronic ticket to check-in at the event.

What time does seating begin?

Doors open and seating begins at 2:00 pm.

How does the book signing work?

Everyone will have the opportunity to participate in the book signing. Following the presentation, guests will be able to form a line to the left of the stage for the signing.

Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Gramercy Books. Guests are also welcome to bring personal copies for signing. Limit of 3 books per guest.

"Action" photos of you having your book signed by the author are welcome. If time allows, posed photos may be requested after the book signing is completed.

Please note that the book signings may take some time. These are large events and the author is given the opportunity to interact with guests as they choose, so lines may be long.

Can I get my book signed without reserving a ticket?

No. To be eligible for the book signing, you must have a ticket to the event.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact the Library at (614) 545-6942 or authorseries@bexleylibrary.org.

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Bexley High School

326 South Cassingham Road

Columbus, OH 43209

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