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Meet the Author: Gloria Respress-Churchwell


Before Chester Pierce was a renowned psychiatrist, he was the first African American college football player to compete south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Author Gloria Respress-Churchwell captures the story of this little known civil rights hero and college football MVP in her new book, Follow Chester!. Join us to learn more about Chester and meet Gloria. Fun fact: Dr. Pierce was a consultant in the creation of Sesame Street.

Recommended for readers ages 6 and up.


In 1947, no African American player can play at a southern school; in return, the opposing team benches a player of "equal talent." This historical fiction picture book frames a turbulent time in the civil rights era with the clever use of a football play to show race relations and teamwork. Inspired by a true story, capturing a historic defense against the Jim Crow laws of the South.

Earlier Event: September 21
Story Time with Author Tracey Kyle
Later Event: September 22
Banned Books Week Kick-off Event