Author: Maya Washington
Book: THROUGH THE BANKS OF THE RED CEDAR: My Father and the Team that Changed the Game
Publishing: Little A (January 1, 2022)
A warm and invigorating memoir about a daughter’s love for her father and her appreciation for how he and others changed the game of football forever.
Gene Washington’s football career ended long before his daughter Maya was born. She never saw the legendary powerhouse as anything but her dad. She didn’t yet grasp the impact he’d had on the sport―and on America. To understand his historic role in the integration of college football, witness his influence on generations that followed, and fully appreciate his legacy, Maya had a lot of catching up to do.
Maya retraces her father’s journey from the segregated south to Michigan State during the peak of the Civil Rights Movement and his journey as an NFL pioneer after the 1967 draft. She reflects on how her father’s childhood―and the racism he faced―shaped her upbringing and influenced his expectations of her. She also discovers how unbreakable the emotional bond between teammates can be. But above all, Maya and her father get to know each other. As their own bond deepens, so does Maya’s connection to the sport that changed the trajectory of her father’s life…and hers.