Racehoss: Big Emma's Boy

Racehoss: Big Emma's Boy


By (author) Albert Race Sample, Edited by Carol Sample, Introduction by Sean Hepburn Ferrer


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  • Publisher: Createspace
  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 21mm | 626g
  • Publication date: 24 June 2014
  • ISBN 10: 1499146531
  • ISBN 13: 9781499146530
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations

Product description

Doing time-some men do it behind prison walls. Others, imprisoned from within, mark time in a life they are condemned to endure, without promise of fulfillment. Born during the Depression in Longview, Texas, Albert Sample was the mixed-race product of a black prostitute and white cotton broker. He seemed destined to do time one way or the other, so it was no surprise when he became an alien of the free world. It is the classic story of the son of a troubled mother, of a young man gone bad, and of his tentative then tremendous steps toward reclaiming his own destiny. "RACEHOSS: Big Emma's Boy" is the violent and triumphant true story of one man's journey to hell and back. Hell for Albert Sample was Retrieve, a unit of the Texas State prison system reserved for the most incorrigible black prisoners. A cotton plantation prison farm where men slaved from dawn to dusk under the cruel leadership of "Boss Band," it cracked the spirits of the weak and hardened the souls of the strong. For "Racehoss," as Sample was called, Retrieve was a place to witness unbearable brutality, which he recounts in awesome detail in the pages of this stunning book. His shattering and unforgettable autobiography is told with raw, backbreaking emotion in all its stark reality, but without rancor or bitterness. Racehoss simply tells it "like it was." Sample's ability to understand the forces that drove him to prison and his devotion to helping others also see the light of change earned him a full pardon and restoration of all civil rights in 1976. Over the years he received many high-profile humanitarian awards in recognition for his work in the field of corrections and rehabilitation of ex-offenders. "Of the most remarkable stories I've come across, perhaps the most remarkable is the story of Albert Race Sample, known as Racehoss. This book is more than a searing indictment of the Southern prison system. It is an outcast's eloquent testament to life."-Studs Terkel, Pulitzer Prize Winning Author "POWERFUL. As remarkable as Richard Wright's autobiography 'Black Boy.' These stories are worthy of Twain, Faulkner, and Lardner."-The Chicago Tribune "Albert Race Sample (1930-2005) is an American treasure."-Sean Hepburn Ferrer, Acclaimed Author, Humanitarian, Filmmaker

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Author information

A multi-recidivist and after seventeen years of incarceration, Albert Race Sample became the first ex-convict to work out of the Office of the Governor of Texas, to serve as a probation officer for Travis County, and to serve on the staff of the State Bar of Texas. He was released from prison in 1972 and was granted a full pardon and restoration of all civil rights in 1976. Mr. Sample received many high-profile humanitarian awards in recognition for his work in the field of corrections and rehabilitation of ex-offenders, and was recognized as the Outstanding Crime Prevention Citizen of Texas in 1981. His compelling interview on the Studs Terkel show won the Gold Medal in the International Radio Festival of New York. He also received the Gabriel Award for outstanding achievement in broadcasting and the Angel Award from The 700 Club. A natural-born storyteller, Race passionately recounted his unforgettable and deeply moving journey of resiliency, revelation, and redemption in the award-winning documentary film RACEHOSS. Produced and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Sean Hepburn Ferrer, this gripping one-man show is a timely and powerful reminder that the human spirit can triumph against all odds. Race resided in Austin with his wife and continued writing, which was his passion, until his death in 2005.