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Giant Steps: The Autobiography of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Hardcover – December 1, 1983
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- Publisher : Bantam Books; First Edition (December 1, 1983)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 324 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553050443
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553050448
- Item Weight : 1.3 pounds
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,206,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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My parents, however, did not.
My parents are wonderful people, but they were products of their time and culture, and as such, the idea that someone would change their name to follow an unknown religion was suspicious and unpatriotic. As Louisvillians they had gone through this with a young Cassius Clay when he became Muhammad Ali, and so the idea that their son was reading a book by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was off-putting to say the least.
Yet, there I was reading the book, which was unusual in those days! It's impact on me was beyond anything I had ever experienced. And while the entire book is interesting, it was the idea of how much Kareem gave up for his faith that has stuck with me for all these years. Yes, he made a great deal money as a ballplayer, but he lost so much along the way because he followed his heart and head in matters of faith.
I should also add that his discussion of the Harlem Riots was a life changing moment for me, and it opened my white eyes to the prejudices that surrounded us even in those days when people were beginning to think that equal rights had been achieved. We were wrong.
Look this is no PT-109 and it isn't written by Dostoyevsky, but this book is a wonderful portrait of courage, faith, and persistence. Oh, and basketball too. It should be reprinted today, as I think its message would do much in helping people understand Islam, as well as, what it is like to follow one's faith regardless of personal cost.
Reading this book changed my life, and while I no longer follow NBA basketball, I became a reader, a writer, and an educator; I can say unequivocally that this book played a role in a young high school boy taking a stand and making those changes in his life.