Staying Ahead of the Posse

posseStaying Ahead of the Posse: The Ben Jobe Story
As told to and by Joe Formichella

Ben Jobe, one generation removed from slavery, was born in Little Hope, Tennessee, in 1933. A 1956 graduate of Fisk University, he spent forty-five years coaching at more than a dozen schools in several different states across two continents, piling up over five hundred victories in the process. Staying Ahead of the Posse represents both his life story and his life philosophy.
Ben Jobe is not afraid of starting fires. For kindling he chooses words and deeply personal, historically significant stories. Staying Ahead of the Posse: The Ben Jobe Story is history in the flesh, the history of basketball and the Civil Rights Movement, of desegregation and economic exploitation, of HBCUs and the NCAA, of African independence and the modern-day plantation that is the American sports industry. Ben’s life—forty-some years of coaching, teaching, nurturing, and mentoring—intersected with and was influenced by all of those developments. And despite a self-described lifetime of “staying ahead of the posse,” he’s now ready to take a stand, tell his story, and in the process put a torch to what he considers a few myths, the myth of “integration,” the myth of a “benevolent” NCAA, among many others. Provocative and inspiring both on the fields of play and in the trenches of life, Ben’s approach is one which, if followed, could make winners of us all.

ISBN: 978-1-57966-082-6


JOEJoe Formichella is a Hackney Literary Award winner and Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in Grassland ReviewRed Bluff Review, and the Southern literary anthologies Stories from the Blue Moon Café II and Climbing Mt. Cheaha. He is the author of The Wreck of the Twilight Limited, a novel, and Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson, an historical account of the all-black Prichard Mohawks, an amateur baseball team formed in the 1950s, shows how those young players succeeded despite the
degradations and persecutions of the Jim Crow South. He lives in Fairhope, Alabama.