“Through the years” is a 150-page photo-narrative that chronicles the rich – and largely undocumented – history of African American athletes in Augusta County, Virginia. Dating back to the first documented Black baseball team in 1912, the book takes the reader through a timeline of Black atheletics in the ensuing decades until desegregation closed all-Black schools in the state in the mid-sixties.
Written by The Chattanooga News Chronicle contributing writer and Staunton native Terry Howard, the book explores western Virginia as the epicenter of many athletes, including the NBA’s Ralph Sampson and Del Curry, the father of NBA player Steph Curry.
An important backstory in the book is the essential role the entire community – HBCU schools, sandlot teams, teachers, parents, business owners, etc., played in the success of the teams.
Although “Through the years” is focused on Augusta County, Virginia, it mirrors the experiences of African American athletes and communities across the nation, particularly in the South. It’s a must read for historians, students, parents, teachers, coaches, recruiters and others interested in African American history.