Three-Fifths, A Novel

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, Identity Development/Psychology, Novels, Passing, United States on 2019-06-12 15:00Z by Steven

Three-Fifths, A Novel

Agora (an imprint of Polis Books)
2019-09-10
240 pages
5.5” x 8’5”
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-947993-67-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-947993-82-2

John Vercher

The very first title from Agora, the new Polis Books imprint dedicated to crime fiction from diverse and underrepresented voices. Available in hardcover and ebook September 10, 2019.

A compelling and timely debut novel from an assured new voice: Three-Fifths is about a biracial black man, passing for white, who is forced to confront the lies of his past while facing the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime.

Pittsburgh, 1995. The son of a black father he’s never known, and a white mother he sometimes wishes he didn’t, twenty-two-year-old Bobby Saraceno is passing for white. Raised by his bigoted maternal grandfather, Bobby has hidden his truth from everyone, even his best friend and fellow comic-book geek, Aaron, who has just returned home from prison a hardened racist. Bobby’s disparate worlds collide when his and Aaron’s reunion is interrupted by a confrontation where Bobby witnesses Aaron assault a young black man with a brick. Fearing for his safety and his freedom, Bobby must keep his secret from Aaron and conceal his unwitting involvement in the hate crime from the police. But Bobby’s delicate house of cards crumbles when his father enters his life after more than twenty years.

Three-Fifths is a story of secrets, identity, violence and obsession with a tragic conclusion that leave all involved questioning the measure of a man, and was inspired by the author’s own struggles with identity as a biracial man during his time as a student in Pittsburgh amidst the simmering racial tension produced by the L.A. Riots and the O.J. Simpson trial in the mid-nineties.

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Former Duquesne, Penn State athlete Cumberland Posey elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-16 20:08Z by Steven

Former Duquesne, Penn State athlete Cumberland Posey elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2016-04-05

Stephen J. Nesbitt, Beat Writer


Courtesy of the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Cooperstown, N.Y.

Will become only person inducted into both professional basketball, baseball halls of fame

The grass-roots campaign to get Cumberland “Cum” Posey enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame began one day in 2002 when two men met at a Starbucks in Pittsburgh and drafted a plan to unearth the story of one of the best athletes the area has seen.

On Monday, 14 years later, Claude Johnson and Rob Ruck were together again to celebrate the campaign’s joyous conclusion. Mr. Posey will be inducted in September, the hall announced.

Mr. Posey, who was born in Homestead in 1890 and died in 1946, was the first black athlete at Penn State and Duquesne and was a player, manager and owner of the Homestead Grays baseball team. He will be the first to be voted into both the professional basketball and baseball halls of fame.

“Today, we honor a man who could be called Pittsburgh’s forgotten champion,” said Duquesne president Charles Dougherty at a ceremony Monday night on Duquesne’s campus, with a number of Mr. Posey’s descendants in attendance.

Mr. Posey is best known for helping build the Grays into a national power, and his basketball prowess seemed lost to history until Mr. Ruck, a history professor at Pitt, wrote the book “Sandlot Seasons,” which told of prominent people and places in Pittsburgh’s black sports history…

…While leading Duquesne in scoring every season from 1916-18, Mr. Posey played under the alias “Charles Cumbert.” There are a few theories as to why — eligibility concerns is one — but Mr. Johnson said Mr. Posey tried passing as white because opponents would refuse to play a black person…

Read the entire article here.

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