The Brown Bullet

The Brown Bullet
The Brown Bullet

The Brown Bullet

Rajo Jack's Drive to Integrate Auto Racing
By Bill Poehler


240 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, Mobipocket, PDF, EPUB

Cloth, $28.99 (US $28.99) (CA $38.99)

ISBN 9781641602297

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (May 2020)
Lawrence Hill Books


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Though Rajo Jack spent his whole life striving to reach the pinnacle of the sport, the Indianapolis 500 wouldn’t have him

The powers-that-be in auto racing in the 1920s, namely the American Automobile Association’s Contest Board, prohibited everyone who wasn’t a white male from the sport. Dewey Gaston, a black man who went by the name Rajo Jack, broke into the epicenter of racing in California, refusing to let the pervasive racism of his day stop him from competing against entire fields of white drivers. In The Brown Bullet, Bill Poehler uncovers the life of a long-forgotten trailblazer and the great lengths he took to even get on the track, and in the end, tells how Rajo Jack proved to a generation that a black man could compete with some of the greatest white drivers of his era, wining some of the biggest races of the day.


“Poehler has done a fine job of researching the life of Rajo Jack, relating his determination and poise in the face of discrimination.”─ Library Journal 

"This excellent, very important book tells an inspirational tale." —Hemmings

Author Biography

Bill Poehler is an award-winning investigative journalist based in the northwest, where he has worked as a reporter for the Statesman Journal for 21 years. His work has appeared in the Oregonian, the Eugene Register-Guard and the Corvallis Gazette-Times; online at and; and in magazines including Slant Six News, Racing Wheels, National Speed Sport News and Dirt Track Digest. He lives in Salem, Oregon.