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Remember Henry Harris
September 27, 2019 @ 3:00 pm
Sam Heys first saw Henry Harris play basketball in 1969 when Harris was only a teenager, but Heys could sense he might be sitting in on history, that he was watching a change agent at work. He was struck by Harris’s power and grace in the face of racial epithets spewed by front-row fans. Who is this guy, he wondered, and how did he get here from a place called Greene County Training School?
Heys’s curiosity about Harris’s life peaked five years later on the night he ripped an article from a newswire and read four paragraphs reporting Harris’s sudden death at twenty-four. But the details were vague and the story was missing all the “whys.” Heys now fills in the facts, answers the questions, and traces Harris’s extraordinary odyssey from living in an abandoned store in Boligee, Alabama, to a rooftop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a passage that helped revolutionize the South and America.