Basketball, A Story Of Race And Resistance

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New book by Rafik Mohamed presents basketball, and especially pickup basketball, as a text of the political, social, and economic struggles of black men in the United States.

In basketball, you just embody that ‘cool.’ In black culture, there’s not many other ways that you can judge your manhood.

What is it about basketball that makes it “the black man’s game”? And what about pickup basketball in particular: can it tell us something about the state of blackness in the United States?

Reflecting on these questions in Black Men on the Blacktop: Basketball and the Politics of Race, A. Rafik Mohamed presents pickup games as a text of the political, social, and economic struggles of African American men. In the process, he tells a story about race in its peculiarly American context, and about how the politics of race—and resistance—are mediated through sports.

“This book is amazing.... an essential read. Mohamed brings the beauty, brilliance, power, and contradictions of street basketball into view, elucidating much that we can learn from ballers and the game they play.” —David J. Leonard, University of California, Berkeley

“An intriguing, thoughtfully argued, and well-written work.... One of its key strengths is its ability to show us how the icro-world of pickup basketball is a refuge from, a response to, and a reflection of everyday life for many African American males.” —Reuben A. May, Texas A&M University

A. Rafik Mohamed is professor of sociology and dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at California State University San Bernardino. He is coauthor of Dorm Room Dealers: Drugs and the Privileges of Race and Class.

Lynne Rienner Publishers, celebrating 33 years of independent publishing, is known for bringing high quality, cutting-edge books in politics and the social sciences to the general market.

Publication date: October 2017
ca. 175 pages • ISBN: 978-1-62637-666-3 cloth $68 • ISBN: 978-1-62637-678-6 pb $26

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