February 8, 2017-
Title: Black Ice: The Val James Story
Author: Val James and John Gallagher
Genre: Non-Fiction/Sports Bio/Hockey
Format: Paperback Release
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Val James became the first African American player in the NHL when he took to the ice with the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, and in 1987 he became the first black player of any nationality to skate for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Born in central Florida, James grew up on Long Island and received his first pair of skates for his 13th birthday. At 16, James left home to play in Canada, where he was the only black person in junior and, often, in the whole town. While popular for his tough play and winning personality, the teenager faced racist taunts at opposing arenas, and the prejudice continued at all levels of the game. In his two NHL stints, James defined himself as a smart team player and opponent, known for his pugilistic skills.
Black Ice is the untold story of a trail-blazing athlete who endured and overcame discrimination to realize his dreams and become an inspiration for future generations.
As featured in a Fox News Black History Month documentary, on NHL.com, NPR’s Morning Edition, ESPN’s Olbermann, and in Newsday, the L.A. Times, and the New York Times, Black Iceis the untold story of a trail-blazing athlete who endured and overcame discrimination to realize his dreams and become an inspiration for future generations. This edition includes a new afterword that explores James’s legacy.
“Val James’ story is compelling, and surprisingly, not widely known. It’s a story that deserves to be told and appreciated. And now, here it is.” ― Bob Costas, broadcaster for NBC and MLBN
“Black Ice is an engaging read that sheds some important light on the subject of racism in hockey. James is an entertaining narrator, and his story is certainly one worth spending some time with.” ― Winnipeg Free Press
“James may have been the first African American to play in the NHL, but that’s just a small part of his fascinating story.” ― PuckJunk.com