Invisible No More
A Historical Novel
by Scott Pitoniak and Rick Burton
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Pub Date 05 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 14 Feb 2024
Amplify Publishing, Subplot
Wilmeth Sidat-Singh is the greatest athlete you’ve never heard of—and so much more. A rocket-armed passer on the football field, an ankle-breaking playmaker on the basketball court, he was also a scholar, civil rights pioneer, patriot, and one other thing—forgotten.
In this historical novel based on Sidat-Singh’s life, sportswriter Breanna Shelton stumbles upon the riveting story of the former Syracuse University star who was forced to hide his identity in order to take the field, leading to climactic moments when race and sports collided. As a young Black woman making her way in a profession not ready to fully accept her, Shelton immerses herself in the research, determined to resurrect an inspirational man who time left behind. Along the way, she finds courage and perseverance to transform herself and her career.
Post–civil rights era society still grapples with dispiriting obstacles that Sidat-Singh faced more than a half century earlier, when he was “passing” to play; serving as a Tuskegee Airman in World War II; and interacting with luminaries such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Grantland Rice, Sam Lacy, and Joe Louis.
This fictionalized account, as timely now as ever, honors an American hero whose life was cut short while serving a country that didn’t recognize him as a full-fledged citizen because of the color of his skin. After you read it, Sidat-Singh will be invisible no more.
“Imagine an athlete with the greatness of Patrick Mahomes and Steph Curry, whose backstory is comparable to Jackie Robinson, Warren Moon, Bo Jackson, and Pat Tillman. Now imagine all of it in one 25-year-old. The story of Wilmeth Sidat-Singh is both heroic and heartbreaking. The authors place a much-needed spotlight on a forgotten superstar athlete.” — Mike Tirico, NBC Sports
“We often hear athletes say they stand on the shoulders of their predecessors, but not until you truly understand their journey is it possible to fully understand the debt and gratitude we owe them for the legacy they left us. I am humbled to be a part of the lineage created by Wilmeth Sidat-Singh. His story transcends the game. He truly is an American hero.” — Don McPherson, author, educator, College Football Hall of Fame member
“Based on the true life of an extraordinary young man named Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, Invisible No More is a testament to the grace and grit of the human spirit. The novel follows Wilmeth from the brutal discrimination of the Jim Crow 1930s and 1940s to his ascension as a brilliant student-athlete at Syracuse University to his tragic death at the age of 25 in World War II. The thread that links the past to the present is a tough, irreverent Black female journalist named Breanna who unearths Wilmeth’s long-forgotten story and is changed forever. Readers will be too.” — Joan Ryan, award-winning journalist and author of Intangibles: Unlocking the Science and Soul of Team Chemistry
“It takes persistence, courage, and style to move a hero out of the shadows so a new generation can appreciate such greatness. Thankfully, those elements have aligned here.” — Tim Wendel, award-winning journalist and author of Castro’s Curveball and Summer of ‘68