Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bunion Derby The 1928 Footrace Across America

Tanya and I received an awesome gift in the mail yesterday. The gift was and autographed hardback copy of the "Bunion Derby The 1928 Footrace Across America". I can't wait to pour a big cup of coffee and sink into the pages and retrace the steps of these early ultra runners as they ran across America.
Mr. Charles B. Kastner included a letter that said.
"Dear Dr. Marc and Tanya:
First off, I want to thank you for including some of my stories from in your blog. There is a rich and deep history of black runners who literally risked their lives to compete in long distance races such as the Bunion Derby of 1928. I'm proud I had a part in bringing the stories of these brave men to the attention of the running community. Eddie Gardner, Toby Joseph Cotton, and Sammy Robinson, (and a host of others I've yet to discover) should be celebrated as not only pioneer ultra-runners that pushed back frontiers of what was then thought possible, but also as civil resisters in the same light as Gandhi or Martin Luther King.

I say this because these men knowingly risked their lives for something they believed in. The forces of Jim Crow were aligned against them. They easily could have been killed and nothing would have happened to the perpetrators as the derby followed Route 66 across Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. But they didn't give up and gave hope to thousands of African Americans who watched them on their perilous journey across the Old South.

I've included a signed copy of my book for you. Thanks again for including my stories on your blog.

Best wishes,
Charles Kastner"

Tanya and I thought this was a thoughtful and special gift from Mr. Kastner, and we wanted to share the good news.

Today is also Juneteeth which signifies the day in 1865 the slaves of Texas were freed; 2 1/2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery. Imagine that!

If you don't know your past, you don't know your future.

Mr. Kastner thank you for sharing the entire story of the Bunion Derby.


Pamela Ann said...

Im sure that was a pleasant surprise to receive the book from Mr. Kastner. Happy Junetenth, we are free to run. Look forward to your blogs.


Reese said...

Andy Payne from Oklahoma won that race. He never raced again, but parlayed his winnings into a better life for he and his family. I ran the Andy Payne Memorial Marathon this past Memorial Day weekend. I was also aware of the Black men who ran it. Ed Gardner won $2,500 and Payne said Ed could have won if he hadn't been harrassed so much.

DawnB said...

what a wonderful gift. I will put this one on my list.

My next marathon is Hartford ING. Then NYC then philly

Dr. Marc and Tanya said...

Cool, I've run Philly. I was a little disappointed because that was my home town race; and it didn't live upto my expectations. But I would run it again.

Anonymous said...

It is certainly interesting for me to read that blog. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on that blog soon.