Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White

In this collection of essays, the basketball legend, journalist, novelist, children's book author, philanthropist and cultural ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar considers some of the most pressing issues facing the United States.

Divided into chapters on politics, race, religion, gender, class, sports, media, seniors and culminating with a letter to "Generation Z," the book is designed as a conversation starter, and offers common-sense, practical solutions to tricky problems. Abdul-Jabbar lays out his description of each big issue: in the race chapter, for example, he defines his terms and provides context and explanations of the rhetoric surrounding the problems, before diving into specifics. He then lists sets of troubling facts and statistics about how race has negatively impacted economics, education, healthcare and so on, and concludes with a set of possible solutions, most of them aimed directly at the reader ("apply social pressure" is one; "press for more minorities in TV and movies" is another).

Abdul-Jabbar is widely recognized as a team player--whether for the Lakers or Hillary Clinton--but he eschews party-line thinking and examines each issue on the strength of available evidence. He even includes thoughtful discussions on issues that don't often make the spotlight, including the rising costs of youth sports and an incisive call for better teaching of logic and critical thinking in schools.

Opinionated but nonpartisan, detailed yet approachable, Abdul-Jabbar's Writings on the Wall incorporates history, statistics and popular culture into an entertaining and thought-provoking handbook for any American seeking ways to make a difference. --Zak Nelson, writer and bookseller

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