My Review: The Sport of Kings

​Just finished C.E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings and I am filled with many emotions. For one race plays a central role in the story from the fact that the author is a white woman to her writing about slavery and legacies of slavery (both for the descendants of the slave master and the descendants of the enslaved). History is integral to the story as we see character struggle to overcome scripts that seemed written for them by ancestors whose ghosts continue to interfere with dreams of ambition. There is a beautiful critique of concepts of purity and perfection using horse breeding which directly connects to the racial politics explored in the book. Things like inbreeding take on new meaning. The book is tragic and will be offensive to many but in my opinion captures the lingering realities of race in the United States by looking at the crucible of horse racing in Kentucky a land that one character refers to as a borderland that manufactured it’s great allegiance to the Confederate cause. Though I clung to hope that good would come for the character that had the most to overcome, I realized the burden of blackness and a type of heritage of suffering overshadowed his life. The book is difficult to read but the prose is beautiful. If Morgan set out to write a book that critiques the rotten fruit that grow from slavery’s tree remains to be seen. I also understand that this book most likely wouldn’t receive the same attention if it was written by a black woman but it is undeniable that the characters in the novel reflect the truth and depth of our society. One character who arrives late in the novel serves as one of the major truth tellers in the story. Again this book is tragic but the epilogue does offer peace for the troubled and burdened character. Overall, this book has forced me to confront a few questions:
How do legacies of slavery affect not only black people who are met with resistance at every turn but also those that live in wealth paid in blood?
Am I okay with white people writing about the truths black people face even though a black author could have wrote a similar story? Does white privilege help in this case to get a necessary story out?
Could a black author have written this book? 
Overall I give this book a 4.3 out of 5.


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