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By the early 1960s, Speed City was earning a reputation for breaking records. But Bud Winter’s track program was broke. He stretched his scholarship budget so far that many athletes struggled to make ends meet. That, coupled with the racism Black athletes faced on the mostly white campus of San Jose, ignited the budding activist Dr. Harry Edwards. He wanted to take a page out of the playbook being written by civil rights leaders of the moment like Dr. King. And he realized the attention paid to Black athletes gave them the power to be heard.

The Host

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…