In the fall of 1988 Handy Campbell, a black senior who played football only two seasons, was leading the Greenwood High (Mississippi) Bulldogs into the championship playoffs with a quarterback's throwing arm that man say is NFL material. Handy's great season was covered by Richard Rubin, a native New Yorker whose first job out of college was sports editor for the Greenwood paper. Rubin covers the games, is moved over to news reporting, and describes the curious ways of the Mississippi Delta region -- whose unfailingly good manners clashes jarringly with its lingering racism.
Six years later, Handy had not only failed to achieve great things in college and pro ball, but he had dropped out of several schools and is in jail for murder. Rubin returned to Mississippi to cover the trial and try to figure out what happened to this promising young player. This 2002 book is a fascinating and thought-provoking tale about life today in the deep South.
This report prepared by David Loftus