“An engaging tale that combines sports, religion, and politics.”
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Faithful Servants: Collectors Edition
The second edition of Faithful Servants has more content and the characters have more definition. It’s so nice, we had to do it twice!
Nehemiah Garvey is a man of faith and a high school basketball star in Newark, New Jersey. It’s the 1960s and the city has been torn apart by riots (or rebellions, depending on one’s perspective). Nehemiah wants to keep playing ball at Weequahic High School, where the talented Mickey Marcus is the coach. But Mickey is the only white basketball coach left in the city and many powerful figures in the black community would like to see him go. Nehemiah and Mickey undertake some basketball diplomacy to help turn Newark’s reputation around. Mickey keeps the reins and with Nehemiah leading the community on and off the court, the team launches a bid to win the consensus national title.
Little sets this fictional tale during the very real and turbulent events of the ‘60s, using Newark as a window into the changing demographics of urban areas across the country. Racism is rampant and, as Little demonstrates when his narrative jumps forward in time, it’s still a pressing topic today.
Decades later, Nehemiah and Mickey are still fighting to make Newark a peaceful city where blacks and whites have a fair chance for success and equal access to opportunity and fair housing. Little creates two admirable characters in Nehemiah and Mickey, and their multifaceted relationship is a high point of the novel. He also includes scores of excellent quotes from U.S. presidents, activists, and scholars of the past and present, firmly situating the Newark events on a national stage.