40 million dollar slave, the rise, fall and redemption of the black athlete.
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I`m in the UK and have not previously heard of this title.
William Roden, the author of the books, tells of when he was a young boy playing sports with his father and watching them on television. He would always cheer for the team that had the most blacks. He recalled
the boxer Casius Clay (Muhammed Ali) and how he stood for Black Nationalism. Roden discussed how the fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston signaled a change in the Black Community. Sonny
Liston was favored by the "old school" and Muhammad Ali, the younger generation, even Malcolm X.
During this time, the civil rights movement was in full swong and even black athletes were making a statement.
Roden feels that today young black athletes are more interested in the money, have no regard for the images they are portraying, and are no more than high priced slaves. 99% of team owners are white. Even some athletes would agree to this concept.
Roden got the title of the book from an incident with Larry Johnson, a black basketball player. Someone from the crowd yelled out at him, "Larry Johnson, you ain't nothin but a 40 million dollar slave."
I suggest you pick this book up if you can, it is very thought provoking, though controversial.
Do you think the choice of the word `slaves` was wise ? If I get it right, the author (and possibly the heckler) was implying `puppet` (of big business?)rather than `slave`. Admittedly, a puppet has no free will, so I can see the logic.
Let me know what you think, I`d be interested.
Actually, I think the term slave is more appropriate. When you think about it...A slave is a person who is owned by another. The people that are in charge of teams are called "owners." These athletes sign a contract for a certain number of years, and they can be "traded" at anytime without being asked. They have no choice. Every year the NFL has combines, where athletes are judged on thier physical ability, strenght, speed, etc...Then in the "draft" they are selected to join a team. The same thing went on in slavery. Slaves were bought at a certain price depending on their abilities. (Have you read Day of Tears, by Julius Lester)
Now, I'm not saying that the money is not good, or these men are not trying to support thier families. It is a great opportunity for many individuals. I think that Roden's point was that they have to take a stand when it comes to certain issues. They are role models, especially for black boys. I think that so much of the slavery mindset carries over in today's society without people realizing it. It is all really psychological.
In answer to your question, I`ve never read any Julius Lester - he is not well known over here at all.
As it happens, I do know a bit about him - I know he`s been a folk musician, a civil rights worker and is now a photographer and author. His pictures are on a photography web site - I think it`s called Prophoto or something like that.
I ake it you like his book ?
The other book that I have read of his is "The Old African" This is a children's book, but it is great for adults also. It is about an old slave who does not talk but has magical powers and helps lead his people back to Africa. (I read a lot of childrens' books for my job)
What books are popular in the UK?
Martin Luther King, but not just anything - books published during the `60s go well, and some of the better quality modern ones, Baldwin, Angelou, we`ve had some luck with the better books about Marcus Garvey & Malcolm X s (the authors like Rupert Lewis, Manning Marable - but all to the same customer, a collector, and I wouldn`t even think of offering him anything that wasn`t of a reasonably high standard content-wise.
Having said that the second-hand market necessarily tends to be backward looking, and that`s probably reflected here.
Myself, I`ve read and enjoyed Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, they all have something to offer. I`m currently re-reading my W E B Du Bois collection and posting reviews on Librarything - I find it gives me an outlet and, to be honest, we only have limited funds to by new books for ourselves.
Until recently, I would have said that an interest in Du Bois, Marable etc was very unusual for the UK, especially for a white guy like myself. Having said that, I notice one or two (literally one or two) other second-hand book dealers now offering new copies of books by them - I imagine they have some kind of informal arrangement with a friend or contact in the US.
Anyway, that`s enough of that - are there any more recent authors worth knowing about - also - what job do you do - reading children`s books for a job sounds good !
Cashmore is a UK-based writer noted for his Minority Rights Group publication The Rastafarians, but has written on sport, race relations, policing and much else.
He does not seem to court publicity, and in fact some sellers seem quite confused as to his name - as far as I can tell, he is Ernest Ellis Cashmore but I think there is another writer, Ernest Cashmore and this is causing some confusion.