Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey Debuts in Paperback in Time for Black History Month

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Breaking the Ice, the first book to chronicle the unique history of black hockey players, from the early 1900s to the present, is now available in a revised paperback edition that includes the thrilling 2004 Stanley Cup finals.

Now in a revised paperback edition that includes the thrilling 2004 Stanley Cup finals, Breaking the Ice: The Black Experience in Professional Hockey by Cecil Harris (Insomniac Press), is the first book to tell the unique stories of black hockey players--from the Colored Hockey League of the early 1900s to the present--how they triumphed over racial and cultural prejudice or succumbed. With a foreword by Los Angeles Kings winger Anson Carter and an afterword by Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr.

Sports journalist Cecil Harris chronicles the lives and careers of players, past and present, such as:

  • Willie O'Ree, the 'Jackie Robinson of hockey,' who broke the National Hockey League's color barrier with the Boston Bruins in 1958 despite being blind in one eye--a secret he hid from his own team!
  • Herb Carnegie, a star in the 1930s, '40s and '50s who could have been the NHL's first black player had he accepted an offer from the New York Rangers similar to the one offered Robinson by the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • Jarome Iginla, the son of a Nigerian-born attorney, who was voted the NHL's Most Valuable Player in 2002. Iginla, the 'Tiger Woods of hockey,' is the first black captain in NHL history and the only black man to win a Winter Olympics gold medal. He led the Calgary Flames to the 2004 Stanley Cup finals
  • Grant Fuhr, a five-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender who in 2003 became the first black inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Mike Marson, a former Washington Capitals 'bonus baby' in the mid-1970s whose marriage to a white woman brought him abuse from both sides of a virulent racial divide

"[M]any ice-bound skirmishes, triumphs, humiliations, and epiphanies between the overt racism of 'back then' and the ostensibly progressive present are the subject of Breaking the Ice, an excellent new book by New York-based sports reporter Cecil Harris."

  • Quill & Quire magazine

Cecil Harris has covered sports for Gannett Newspapers, the New York Post, Newsday, The (Raleigh) News & Observer, The Indianapolis Star, The Sporting News and The Hockey News. Breaking the Ice is his first book. A Fordham University graduate, Harris lives in Yonkers, New York.

Contact: Cecil Harris


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