Kareem Abul-Jabbar has been hailed not just as one of the greatest at his sport, but as one of the greatest athletes of all time. To this day he is still the NBA’s all-time leading scorer but during his iconic career, he also became known for his work in social activism. Abul-Jabbar chose to boycott the 1968 Olympic games. When Muhammad Ali refused to join the U.S. Military and fight in the Vietnam War, he took a public stance in support of his actions.
After retiring, Abul-Jabbar published multiple books, such as On The Shoulders of Giants, typically on subjects relating to social justice. Recently, Abul-Jabbar appeared at the Democratic National Convention. In his speech, he introduced himself as fellow basketball great Michael Jordan as he out it “…because Donald Trump can’t tell the difference.”
This week sees the release of Abul-Jabbar’s newest book, Writings on the Wall: A Search For the New Equality Beyond Black and White. His new work discusses many social issues with a primary focus on what we need to do in order to “reclaim the political process” in this country. According to Abul-Jabbar, this process starts with children and, unsurprisingly, education. In the book, he discusses the U.S system of education, the declining quality of our schools and what we need to do to fix it. He also calls to mind the importance of history and how it impacts everyone in different ways.
What he writes is hardly surprising, as Abul-Jabbar had once stated that if he had not played basketball, he likely would have chosen to become a history teacher. Another aspect of the book is it’s focus on athletes and how they are perceived in our society as role models. Throughout the book, Abul-Jabbar uses his own life experiences as a Muslim, an African-American, and as an athlete to reflect on the social difficulties that America is still facing. He also outlines the best ways Americans can deal with such issues.
Due to hit the shelves on August 23rd, Writings on the Wall promises to provide much needed commentary and wisdom on important issues from a man who has considerable experience in every area he writes about. It also comes at a great time, as the United States is currently involved in the presidential race and debates on racial and social prejudices are never far away. Hopefully, this new book will help us move forward as nation.
Featured image courtesy of gleejab.com