Thursday, July 7, 2011

Book Review: "Uppity - My Untold Story of the Games People Play," by Bill White

Bill White, who's now in his mid 70s, was an All-Star first baseman for many years with the New York Giants, St.Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies before launching a stellar broadcasting career with the New York Yankees for 18 years. He left the broadcast booth to become the President of the National League for five years.

I would say that Bill White’s book “UPPITY My Untold Story of the Games People Play,” is really the same old story by another eyewitness in a different setting.

The story is rather predictable: a talented youngster from humble beginnings nonchalantly finds himself in all the right places at all the right times and makes all the right moves as he encounters racism all along the way.
Given this compact synopsis, I find myself looking for the proverbial miniature violin to play him a “woe is me,” sad tune.

However at each major event of his life that furthers his career is a game in which he is a pawn being played by “white folks” to manipulate his blackness to their benefit. But when he responds without the customary “thankya suh,” he is deemed as being "uppity."

I liken Bill’s story to one of the personal stories that follow the premise of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.” The premise is set in the title; that a Black man could be called “uppity.” It thereby follows Bill’s story to illustrate and offer a personal account of the premise.

I could identify with Bill White even though I am not a major leaguer or former television celebrity or hob-nobber with Major League Baseball’s elite. I, too, sometimes feel that I was hired at my job because they didn’t have enough blacks at the time. I also feel as if I am held to a different standard than my other non-black coworkers.

“UPPITY” is a good honest read and has a lot of relevant associations to actual baseball history.

I enjoyed Bill White’s story very much.

(Reviewed by Richard S. of San Francisco, California)

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