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Why We Kneel How We Rise


About The Book

‘To say I was surprised at the volume of positive feedback I received from around the world after my comments on Sky Sports is an understatement. I came to realise I couldn’t just stop there; I had to take it forward – hence the book, as I believe education is the way forward.' Michael Holding

Rarely can a rain delay in a cricket match have led to anything like the moment when Holding spoke out in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests about the racism he has suffered and has seen all around him throughout his life. But as he spoke, he sought not only to educate but to offer a way forward that inspired so many. Within minutes, he was receiving calls from famous sports stars from around the world offering to help him to spread the message further. Now, in Why We Kneel, How We Rise, Holding delivers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for the future and a vision for change, while providing the background and history to an issue that has dogged the world for many centuries.

Through the prism of sport and conversations with its legends, the book explains how racism dehumanises people; how it works to achieve that end; how it has been ignored by history and historians; and what it is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin.

About The Author

Michael Holding was born in Jamaica in 1954 and played 60 Tests for the West Indies between 1975 and 1987, taking 249 wickets. After retiring from the game, he became a commentator, mainly working for Sky Sports.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (July 7, 2021)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398503243

Raves and Reviews

'The best book about racism I’ve ever read. Powerful, passionate, challenging, and, like the author’s fast bowling, at times very uncomfortable. I learned a lot & it made me think a lot.'

– Piers Morgan, TV presenter and journalist

'One of the most important [books] of the year, and certainly among the most powerful... If anything will change the way we see the world it is this - the sports book of the year.'

– Roger Alton, Daily Mail, Sports Books of the Year

'This powerful book...recounts unsparing stories of prejudice and injustice, but the best passages are when Holding writes from the heart.'

– Matt Dickinson, The Times, Sports Book of the Year

'Holding writes of his personal guilt at rolling with the racist punches throughout his career... The language is raw, his observations unsparing, but there is no more important sports book this year.'

– Ben Taylor, Sunday Times, Sport Books of the Year

'This amazing book'

– Chris Evans, Virgin Radio

'The outstanding book by a mile'

– Danny Kelly, Talksport

'The most important book by a sportsperson you may ever read. But calling it a sports book would not remotely do it justice... Why We Kneel, How We Rise is powerful precisely because, even after confronting the horror on a scale that makes your blood boil, it tells us that there is still, and always will be, hope.'

– Nakul Pande, The Cricketer

'An incredible book. This tome straddles sport, sociology, anthropology and global politics, and holds a mirror to humanity, warts and all... It is remarkable to know that he achieved all that he aspired to do. This conscience-stirrer of a book will defy time. This book is a classic, one that will make you aware that inequality is a horrific reality and it is time to change that.'

– K.C.Vijaya Kumar, The Hindu

'[A] meticulously researched jeremiad, which details centuries of prejudice.'

– Simon Kuper and Murad Ahmed, Financial Times, Sports Books of the Year

'There’s a good reason this offering from the legendary West Indies cricketer claimed the prestigious [William Hill] award this year. It looks at the root cause of racism and offers an unsettling, eye-opening read for those lucky enough to avoid it in our daily lives. But it’s not simply a story of how bad things are; it’s a powerful call for change and is infused with optimism for a better tomorrow.'

– Cathal Dennehy, Irish Independent

'Shocking and at times difficult to read... The relentless accrual of detail tracks a process of dehumanisation of the black race...and it presents an inarguable case. Holding and his co-writer Ed Hawkins have taken a vast and complex subject and made it human.'

– Jon Hotten, Wisden Cricket Monthly

'A sober, densely researched account of racial discrimination'

– Morning Star

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