14 February 2008

Cheers, Love

A Drinking Song

Wine comes in at the mouth

And love comes in at the eye;

That's all we shall know for truth

Before we grow old and die.

I lift the glass to my mouth,

I look at you, and I sigh.

-William B. Yeats

06 February 2008

We Are the Ship

While I usually leave book recommendations to Sarah, I couldn't pass up passing this along to you. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball is the first book written and illustrated by the award-winning artist, Kadir Nelson (pictured left). It took him almost 8 years to finish due to the 40-plus paintings he completed for the book. Here is a synopsis of the book from Kadir's website:

"The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball.

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of full-page and double-page oil paintings, breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game."

The title of the book comes from Rube Foster, the founder of the Negro Leagues, who said, "We are the ship, all else the sea."

If nothing else, take a look at Kadir's paintings. They are incredible.