Black Ice: The Val James Story

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9781770413634: Black Ice: The Val James Story
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The first Black American in the NHL tells his story now in trade paper

Val James received his first pair of skates for his 13th birthday and by 16, he left his home in New York to play in Canada, where he was the only black person on his junior team and, often, in the whole town. While popular for his tough play and winning personality, the teenager faced racist taunts at opposing arenas. The prejudice he encountered continued at all levels of the game. He became the first African American NHLer when he took to the ice with the Buffalo Sabres in 1982, and in 1987 he was the first black player of any nationality to skate for the Toronto Maple Leafs. In his two NHL stints, James defined himself as a team player known for his pugilistic skills.

As featured in a Fox News Black History Month documentary, on NHL.com, NPR’s Morning Edition, ESPN’s Olbermann, and in Newsday, the L.A. Times, and the New York Times, Black Ice is the untold story of a trail-blazing athlete who endured and overcame discrimination to realize his dreams and become an inspiration for future generations. This edition includes a new afterword that explores James’s legacy.

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Review:

-[Mr Jolly] holds nothing back in relating the story of his personal and professional life in Jamaica and here in Canada.- -- Pride News

-A fast-paced recounting of an eventful life.--- Toronto Star

-As a kid growing up in the GTA, and as a huge Hip Hop and R&B fan, I was introduced to Hip Hop and R&B music by FLOW 93.5. All Urban music lovers in Toronto should feel an indebtedness to its founder, Denham Jolly. To hear Drake, Kardinal, or even Jay Z on a consistent basis, you had to listen to FLOW 93.5. This book gives you great insight into his story and should inspire young people to pursue their dreams no matter what the challenges.- -- Andre De Grasse, three-time 2016 Olympic medalist

-Denham introduced the first Black owned and operated radio station in Canada's history, and, in doing so, brought Urban music to Canada for the first time, introducing successful Canadian Urban artists like Drake, Kardinal Offishal, Jully Black, K-OS, K'naan, Swollen Members, Choclair, and many more to commercial airwaves. He is a recognized philanthropist and a visionary leader who possesses an uncanny balance of social, fiduciary, and political imperatives. On a personal note, he has impacted my life greatly as a mentor, friend and role model.- -- Farley Flex, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award Recipient, National UNICEF Ambassador, B'nai Brith Canada Special Advisory Council League of Human Rights, and BBPA Harry Jerome Award Recipient for Entertainment & Community

-The memoir of Denham Jolly, In the Black, is a very important book; it's well written and a must read for anyone interested in a more just society.- -- Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, OC, O. Ont., QC LSM, Former Chief Justice of Ontario

-Read this dynamic history of a leader who has given much to the development of Canada's Black Community. We have made progress as Black Canadians because of the activism and advocacy of this giant of a man. Read his interesting life journey and his determination to give voice to the issues of the day. Denham Jolly has shown that with hard work, determination, and a readiness to 'buck the system' -- to stand up for and with the community on social issues and injustice -- one can accomplish much. This story of his life and his accomplishments is a must read for all who engage with their communities.- -- Honourable Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE, Former Deputy Speaker Canadian House of Commons

-In the Black is a must-read. In the face of one closed door after another, Jolly's perseverance against the odds is fascinating to observe. In the Black isn't just a broadcasting story, but also one of struggle, of the strength of the human spirit, and of ambitions realized. This book should be required reading for business schools, or for anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations.- --Gary Slaight, CM, President and Chief Executive Officer Slaight Communications Inc.



"[Mr Jolly] holds nothing back in relating the story of his personal and professional life in Jamaica and here in Canada." -- Pride News

"A fast-paced recounting of an eventful life."-- Toronto Star

"As a kid growing up in the GTA, and as a huge Hip Hop and R&B fan, I was introduced to Hip Hop and R&B music by FLOW 93.5. All Urban music lovers in Toronto should feel an indebtedness to its founder, Denham Jolly. To hear Drake, Kardinal, or even Jay Z on a consistent basis, you had to listen to FLOW 93.5. This book gives you great insight into his story and should inspire young people to pursue their dreams no matter what the challenges." -- Andre De Grasse, three-time 2016 Olympic medalist

"Denham introduced the first Black owned and operated radio station in Canada's history, and, in doing so, brought Urban music to Canada for the first time, introducing successful Canadian Urban artists like Drake, Kardinal Offishal, Jully Black, K-OS, K'naan, Swollen Members, Choclair, and many more to commercial airwaves. He is a recognized philanthropist and a visionary leader who possesses an uncanny balance of social, fiduciary, and political imperatives. On a personal note, he has impacted my life greatly as a mentor, friend and role model." -- Farley Flex, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award Recipient, National UNICEF Ambassador, B'nai Brith Canada Special Advisory Council League of Human Rights, and BBPA Harry Jerome Award Recipient for Entertainment & Community

"The memoir of Denham Jolly, In the Black, is a very important book; it's well written and a must read for anyone interested in a more just society." -- Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, OC, O. Ont., QC LSM, Former Chief Justice of Ontario

"Read this dynamic history of a leader who has given much to the development of Canada's Black Community. We have made progress as Black Canadians because of the activism and advocacy of this giant of a man. Read his interesting life journey and his determination to give voice to the issues of the day. Denham Jolly has shown that with hard work, determination, and a readiness to 'buck the system' -- to stand up for and with the community on social issues and injustice -- one can accomplish much. This story of his life and his accomplishments is a must read for all who engage with their communities." -- Honourable Jean Augustine, PC, CM, CBE, Former Deputy Speaker Canadian House of Commons

"In the Black is a must-read. In the face of one closed door after another, Jolly's perseverance against the odds is fascinating to observe. In the Black isn't just a broadcasting story, but also one of struggle, of the strength of the human spirit, and of ambitions realized. This book should be required reading for business schools, or for anyone with entrepreneurial aspirations." --Gary Slaight, CM, President and Chief Executive Officer Slaight Communications Inc.

"Black Ice is gripping from start to finish." -- Scene Magazine

About the Author:

After nearly 20 years playing junior and professional hockey, Valmore James settled in Niagara Falls, ON, Canada with his wife, Ina.

Currently a federal prosecutor, John Gallagher is a former White House Fellow and former New York City police officer. He lives with his family in Emmaus, PA.

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