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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