Racial injustice is something you don't normally associate with the sport of golf, right? But as recently as the 1950s there were no known African-American golfers in the United States. Golf was the last professional sport that finally integrated all people, regardless of race.
William Miller's Night Golf is the tale of James, a young African-American boy who develops a love for golf. James finds a discarded, rusty golf club and begins his quest to excel at golf. Through constant practice at home, he discovers his talent and love for the game. But it quickly becomes apparent to James that being black means being a caddy, not a golfer. James finds work at a local golf course, where he can be close to the game. He finds he can't play the course because of the race rule whites only. He is soon befriended by Charlie, an older black gentleman who is a top caddy at the course. With Charlie's help, James rapidly improves his game but only at night. Cedric Lucas is the perfect illustrator for Miller's story. The pictures are lush and colorful, filled with the hopeful glow that rings in Miller's words. The message is an important one to all children: anything is possible, and you can achieve. The game of golf has always been inclusive by its nature. It's a sport that finally defies age, sex, and racial barriers.
Kevin Zepper writes for several domestic and foreign publications.