Book Review: Who’s Afraid Of A Large Black Man?

January 3, 2011

This is a review from my Favorite Books list; the link from which will be also on the Books Page.

***

“Racism is the biggest cancer of my lifetime.”

Charles Barkley speaks his mind, unfiltered. For that, Charles has become just as known, if not more known, in his post-NBA days than he was as an athlete.
Large Black Man confronts the topic of racism in America, with Charles and co-author Mike Wilbon (of PTI fame) engaging in discussion with many well-know entertainers, educators and leaders.

One thing I didn’t want with this book is to be preached to by Charles Barkley. I thoroughly enjoyed his first book and I watch him a lot on his NBA TV studio gig. Large Black Man is split 70-30 between the discussion subjects (Tiger Woods, Samuel L. Jackson, and Bill Clinton among them) and the author(s).

A surprise bonus late in this book were two great discussions Charles and  Wilbon had with two guys I figured I knew what they’d say and would be bored by it. Boy, was I wrong. Those two men were Jesse Jackson and Robert Johnson.

We all know Jesse: civil rights leader/activist that always seemed to me to be so pro-Black that it was annoying. After reading Charles give some background on Reverend Jackson and talk about why Jesse is so wound up these days, I understand the man a lot more than I previously did.

Robert Johnson is the founder of the BET television network, and former owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats (he sold his majority stake to Michael Jordan). I didn’t know a damned thing about Robert except that he had owned and sold both BET and that NBA franchise. After reading his thoughts on race, Robert Johnson is an individual I would pay to see speak.

This book turned out to be way better than I thought it would be, and not even because of Charles Barkley.

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