Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 447
Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing is a book written by Wil Haygood. It is about two teams from a black, segregated high school in Ohio. The teams rise to win the Ohio State basketball and baseball championships amidst the racial turbulence of 1968/1968, following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The story has various characters as listed below;
Robert Wright – he was a power forward, and his father was a murderer.
Kenny Mizelle – He was the second baseman for the Tigers. He grew up thinking that his father was already dead whereas that was not the case.
Jack Gibbs – He was the first black principal at East High. He was a disciplinarian who strived to teach the students good morals and the importance of hard work.
Eddie “Rat” Ratleff – He was the star of the two teams, and later played for the national basketball team that represented the United States in the 1972 Olympic Games.
Bob Hart – The white basketball coach who was determined against all odds to overcome the injustices inflicted on his team.
Hometown fans – they followed the Tigers to various stadiums across the state.
Nick Conner – A forward for the Tigers. Together with Ratleff, they were explosive on the basketball court.
Dwight “Bo-Pete” Lamar – He played as a guard for the Tigers. He had transferred to East High after he refused to cut his Afro as required by his former school. He was a rebellious character.
Garnet Davis – He was the best hitter for the team. He had learned the game from local coaches from the Negro League era.
Lucy Lamar – Mother to Dwight Lamar. She had moved from the south during the great migration and was raising her children all by herself. She still rented an apartment across town so that Bo-Pete could play for East High.
Rev. Phale Hale – He was a friend to the King family and a pastor at the local Baptist Church.
Carl Brown – He owned the only grocery store that was operated by a black man on the Eastside.
Hiram Tanner – He was a sports writer and followed the Tigers in their matches so that he could have their story published in the Columbus Call and Post.
Branch Rickey – The president of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Jackie Robinson – He broke the baseball color barrier. He used to play in the Negro Leagues as discovered by Branch Rickey and his scouts
Wendell Smith – A black sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Courier and Robinson’s ghostwriter.
Gardenia – The mother to Davis. She took up a job at East High so as to support her children since their father was serving time in prison.