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Book Club: Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies

Please join us for our SFRRC book club reading of "Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies" by Charles B. Kastner.

Register to the right (you must first log-in). 

Yes, this will take place via Zoom (from the comfort of your own home with other SFRRC members)

Summary: On April 23, 1929, the second annual Transcontinental Foot Race across America, known as the Bunion Derby, was in its twenty-fifth day. Eddie "the Sheik" Gardner, an African American runner from Seattle, was leading the race across the Free Bridge over the Mississippi River. Along with the signature outfit that earned him his nickname--a white towel tied around his head, white shorts, and a white shirt--Gardner wore an American flag, a reminder to all who saw him run through the Jim Crow South that he was an American and the leader of the greatest footrace in the world.

Kastner traces Gardner's remarkable journey from his birth in 1897 in Birmingham, Alabama, to his success in Seattle, Washington, as one of the top long-distance runners in the region, and finally to his participation in two transcontinental footraces where he risked his life, facing a barrage of harassment for having the audacity to compete with white runners. Kastner shows how Gardner's participation became a way to protest the endemic racism he faced, heralding the future of nonviolent efforts that would be instrumental to the civil rights movement. Shining a bright light on his extraordinary athletic accomplishments and his heroism on the dusty roads of America in the 1920s, Kastner gives Gardner and other black bunioneers the attention they so richly deserve.

5 out of 5 Stars on Amazon:

Special thank you to our Board Member Aude for organizing our book club reads. If you haven't joined us before, our conversations/gatherings are so very enjoyable. 

We'll also be using the Heylo app to share updates along the way with each other. 

Life, it's said, is a marathon. But Charles Kastner shows us in vivid, historical detail that the life of runner Eddie Gardner was unique―a race that serves as an engrossing example of what it means to be resilient." (Kevin Patrick Allen, Documentary Producer)

“A fascinating look at the birth of transcontinental ultra-running, the courageous men who competed more than 90 years ago, and African American Eddie 'The Sheik' Gardner who ultimately endured the most." (Gary Theriault, ultra and adventure runner, ten-time Kona Ironman triathlon finisher)

"Race Across America captures the magnitude of challenges faced by Eddie Gardner as he competed in the greatest race on earth: desert heat, hours of mental and physical strain, endless mountains, intense rain, and racial barriers; and the winning spirit it took for him to reach the finish line." (Lorna Michael 2018 Ultrarunner Hall of Fame)

Sunday, September 20, 2020, 3:00 PM until 4:30 PM
From the comfort of your own home, via Google Meet

Aude Hofleitner
Club Events
Registration is closed
No Fee
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