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Lookout Landing Podcast 142: Andrea Williams discusses her upcoming Effa Manley biography

The author, baseball fan, and former employee of the Negro Leagues museum covers a range of topics before reading a passage from the book

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Effa Manley Portrait

0:00-7:45: Prior to the recent MLB-Negro League news, Andrea Williams, author of the upcoming book Baseball’s Leading Lady: Effa Manley and the Rise and Fall of the Negro Leagues, called the Lookout Landing hotline. The prerequisite vibe check blends into a conversation about the parallels between today and some of the book’s themes. Andrea also reflects on the fact she’s publishing a book during a pandemic.

7:50-24:55: What caused Andrea to take an interest in baseball in the first place? After name dropping Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye, a confession arises from the rubble of Kansas City fandom. To kick off the deeper Effa Manley conversation, a brief primer is required. Not only does Andrea explain who Effa was and what she did, but also the layers of Black baseball that enrich her greater story. Branch Rickey, catch this fade. Just because Harrison Ford played you in a movie doesn’t automatically mean you get off scot-free.

25:00-37:30: What did Andrea think about the way things unfolded this summer, as she began promoting a book about Effa Manley and the Negro Leagues as America started paying more attention to race relations? It turns out, writing a book is very hard. What are some things that need to happen moving forward to ensure that progress doesn’t stall out? Andrea shares her promise of becoming “obsessed” with Effa and how much knowledge she had before putting pen to paper. This portion of the show also includes an examination of Jackie Robinson under a different lens.

38:30-1:03:53: The logos and graphic design of the Negro Leagues were cool as hell. Andrea details the perspective of her writing for this book, what she hopes to accomplish with it, and how seeking information from the correct sources is the most important part of learning. To put a bow on this lively conversation about what is sure to be a wonderful book, Andrea reads a passage from it. If you pre-order the book now using this link, you can get a personalized version from Andrea herself!

Music: “untitled 07 | 2014-2016” by Kendrick Lamar // “New Year” by Beach House

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