The Story Ray Lewis
By John Cooper
(Tundra Books, Paperback, 9780887766121, 160pp.)
Publication Date: September 10, 2002
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Rapid Ray Lewis was arguably the fastest man of his generation. He won medals in the 1932 Olympics and the 1934 British Empire Games, and countless races in North America. Remarkable achievements for any man – but all the more remarkable because Lewis had to race poverty and prejudice. The geat-grandson of slaves, he worked as a porter on the railway, and trained by running alongside the tracks when the train was stopped on the prairies.
Rapid Ray is far more than a sports autobiography; it is as much a history of one man’s battle for equality as it is a history of Olympic-level track. Throughout his long life – he is now in his nineties – Ray Lewis has fought discrimination not only in sports, but in every walk of life.
John Cooper is a corporate communications specialist for the Government of Ontario. He also teaches corporate communications at Centennial College in Toronto, and writes books. John has been interested in African-Canadian history since he was 12 years-old when he read Black Like Me. He is a member of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, and is editor of their newsletter.
John Cooper first wrote about Rapid Ray Lewis in his adult book, Shadow Running. He also co-wrote and edited My Name’s Not George. Rapid Ray: The Story of Ray Lewis is a book for younger readers which is both a social history and a book about running.
John Cooper lives in Whitby, Ontario with his wife and three children.
“While sports fans will find the story eminently readable for its tale of victory, they’ll also find here a depth of wisdom that’s not usually associated with sports writing…This is a rewarding read and, with a chronology and index, it’s a most welcome and much needed addition to black Canadian history for children.”
–Deirdre Baker, The Toronto Star
“…it is fascinating to read about Lewis’s experiences…Rapid Ray is definitely worth reading.”
–Canadian Children’s Book News