Written by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Raymond Obstfeld
An autobiography about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and his life growing up in New York, becoming the basketball star he’s known to be, and getting involved in the world around him as an activist for social change.
Primary Source Pairing:
Regardless of background knowledge of basketball history, readers will be fascinated by the story of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s early life and his rise to basketball fame. Told through memories and experiences, Abdul-Jabbar’s story bounces of the page. There are many photographs included in the book in a glossy image section in the middle of the text. Encourage students to look at these images often to provide context to the life of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. For this primary source pairing, invite students to study an additional photograph from 1971 captioned “Alcindor displaying the sky-hook over Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets. The shot was almost impossible to block.”
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see.
- What do you notice first?
- What people and objects are shown?
- How are they arranged?
- What is the physical setting?
- What’s happening in the image?
- Make a connection to how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is playing basketball in this photograph to something you read in the book Becoming Kareem.
- What are you still curious about after reading the book?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
“Alcindor displaying the sky-hook over Wes Unseld of the Baltimore Bullets. The shot was almost impossible to block.” photograph: Wikimedia Commons