The Fights We Fought Have Brought Us Here

Ten young writers from Muhammad Ali's alma mater write about the fights they've fought that have brought them to where they are today.

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Ten young writers from Muhammad Ali's alma mater write about the fights they've fought that have brought them to where they are today.

Since August 2019, ten young writers from Louisville, Kentucky's historic Central High School have been writing a book of creative nonfiction documenting some of the challenges that have shaped them into the people they are today. Their stories are poignant--Muhammad Ali isn't the only fighter to come out of Central--and their voices are vital yet often unheard. This project aims to amplify their voices and stories and to show them that the community wants to listen to what they have to say. They have worked tirelessly for a year, writing countless drafts despite a global pandemic, and the result is truly remarkable. You will be blown away by their courage, insights, and humor. With your support, we'll be able to publish their book in October.

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Chapters of the book include:

  • A thoughtful commentary on the segregation of swimming pools and stereotypes of African Americans and swimming, told through one young woman’s journey from a lifetime of being told not to get into the pool to competing on Central’s swim team.
  • An account of an unexpected psychiatric evaluation in which the author ruminates on her anxiety and depression and the importance of family to her well-being.
  • A story of how a complicated upbringing in Costa Rica led a young woman to move to the U.S., where she learned a new language on the fly and completed high school after several years without any formal education.
  • An investigation into the effects of growing up with a father-shaped hole in one’s life, and the joy of gaining an incredible stepfather and stepsister and a new last name.
  • A history of a dancer’s love for performance told through a recollection of one very trying and humbling audition.
  • A reckoning with the ideologies that shaped the nation of Cuba and the effects they had on a doctor’s family.
  • A detailed description of a family’s journey from serial housing insecurity to stability and relative calm.
  • An account of how a family survived a decade in which the father was in prison, and how they started again after his release.
  • An account of surviving violence and warfare in Somalia, life in the refugee camps of Kenya, and arriving in the U.S. to be reunited with family.
  • A reckoning with family that details the author’s relationship with her military father, and the abuse at the hands of another man that her mother and siblings survived.

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