One of the First

Lessons I Learned While Overcoming the Challenges of Integration

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    • $8.99

Publisher Description

Ralph Stokes has spent most of his life challenging racial discrimination and prejudice. His method has always been to overcome racism with personal, professional, and moral excellence, taking a loving but determined stance toward anyone who mistreated him due to the color of his skin.

Over the years, Ralph’s story has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN,, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Golf Digest, ESPN Radio,, and many other media outlets. However, most of those media outlets only told one or two specific parts of Ralph’s story.

A CNN documentary examined how—when Ralph was one of the top football recruits in the nation in 1970—Ralph’s mother stood eye to eye with the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and challenged him about past racism. The New York Times touched on Ralph’s tendency to become one of the first Black people to do various things, and described how Ralph uses that experience to inspire young minorities to do the same. The Washington Post described Ralph’s role in integrating The University of Alabama football team and winning favor for Black athletes in various ways before and after graduation. told the story of how Ralph dealt with prejudice when he became one of the first Black football players at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery, Alabama, after being forced to leave his beloved Booker T. Washington Yellow Jackets. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined what it was like for Ralph to be the only African American member at the prestigious Atlanta Country Club for 7 years, and why it was so important for Ralph to challenge segregation in the world of golf. briefly highlighted how Ralph stood up to racist policies at the University of Alabama during his time there as a football player.

Now there is a book that tells the whole story. In One of the First, you’ll read detailed accounts of those parts of Ralph’s story, but you’ll also read how:

•Ralph grew up being inspired by other African American pioneers, with his dad owning a negro league baseball team and his family being founding members of the church pastored by noted civil rights leader Fred Gray

•Ralph developed a “father away from home” relationship with Paul “Bear” Bryant in spite of having to challenge discriminatory policies during his time at Alabama

•Ralph became the first Black football player at the University of Alabama to attend their business school, after initially being denied access and told it was “too hard” for him

•Ralph singlehandedly challenged a rule that said Black players could not join fraternities, in spite of the fact that white players could join fraternities at will

•Ralph almost singlehandedly integrated the professional sphere of the health insurance industry, taking on a role as the first Black marketing professional in the industry in spite of serious resistance, ultimately becoming an executive in the industry

•Ralph frequently encountered blatant racists in his career during the 70s and 80s, often facing off with them in corporate boardrooms, and winning them over through love and perseverance—including the president of a large lumber company who was a known racist and also widely reputed to be an Imperial Wizard for the KKK

•Ralph lived by the principle of personal responsibility, refusing to take on a victim mentality and never letting other people’s racism become an excuse for the results he got in life

•In a lifelong pursuit of his calling for racial integration, Ralph continues to do whatever he can to make strides to this day, recently being elected as the first-ever African American President of the Georgia State Golf Association

Let Ralph’s story inspire you today!

“Ralph Stokes has broken many barriers, from the world of football, to the business world, to the world of golf. Ralph consistently persevered through biases, blatant racism, and other challenges, paving the way for those who came after him.” — Sylvester Croom

Biographies & Memoirs
July 5
Called Writers Christian Publishing, LLC
Called Writers Christian Publishing, LLC